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The social responsibility of business has become a major issue in recent years and the reporting of such activity is becoming more prevalent. Companies are attuning to the benefits of being seen as socially responsibly and many industries are jumping on the bandwagon of reporting CSR and using different media to communicate their activities in this arena to their stakeholders. This paper considers the content of one type of such communications, the annual report, and looks at how organisations are taking a focused stakeholder view of CSR rather than a wider view as would be expected from the ambiguity of definitions of the concept. Differences in reporting practices were found by an analysis of the annual and CSR reports of 28 FTSE4Good firms focusing on a variety of industries. Findings show that there is a significant difference between how organisations in different industries report on CSR consistent with a stakeholder view of CSR, and that this reporting follows for the most part the expectations of the CSR communications literature. It is suggested that firms report on CSR in line with what their key stakeholders expect, thus giving evidence for CSR reporting as another tool in the marketing communicators toolbox.
Sweeney, L, Coughlan, J.:Do different industries report Corporate Social Responsibility differently? An investigation though the lens of stakeholder theory. Journal of Marketing Communications, 14(2),2011, pp.113-124
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