How is time framed in corporate social responsibility (CSR) talk? The literature mostly fails to analyze how multiple CSR activities are framed from a temporal perspective. Moreover, those researchers who undertake temporal framing tend to overlook the role of home-country cultural characteristics. Using a mixed-method analysis of 2,720 CSR reports from developing country companies, we show that CSR talk is mostly framed in the future tense when firms communicate complex human rights issues such as slavery or child labor, while the past and present tenses are more frequent when they report on philanthropy and other cause-related activities. We find that these effects are stronger when firms are from countries characterized by greater uncertainty avoidance. We contribute to the CSR communication literature by showing that temporal references in CSR talk tend to differ, depending on the company-level control of CSR activities, and by highlighting uncertainty avoidance’s role as a boundary condition for aspirational talk’s performativity.

Tuan Annamaria, C.M. (2023). Being Reassuring About the Past While Promising a Better Future: How Companies Frame Temporal Focus in Social Responsibility Reporting. BUSINESS AND SOCIETY, online first, 1-42 [10.1177/00076503231182627].

Being Reassuring About the Past While Promising a Better Future: How Companies Frame Temporal Focus in Social Responsibility Reporting

Tuan Annamaria
Primo
;
2023

Abstract

How is time framed in corporate social responsibility (CSR) talk? The literature mostly fails to analyze how multiple CSR activities are framed from a temporal perspective. Moreover, those researchers who undertake temporal framing tend to overlook the role of home-country cultural characteristics. Using a mixed-method analysis of 2,720 CSR reports from developing country companies, we show that CSR talk is mostly framed in the future tense when firms communicate complex human rights issues such as slavery or child labor, while the past and present tenses are more frequent when they report on philanthropy and other cause-related activities. We find that these effects are stronger when firms are from countries characterized by greater uncertainty avoidance. We contribute to the CSR communication literature by showing that temporal references in CSR talk tend to differ, depending on the company-level control of CSR activities, and by highlighting uncertainty avoidance’s role as a boundary condition for aspirational talk’s performativity.
2023
Tuan Annamaria, C.M. (2023). Being Reassuring About the Past While Promising a Better Future: How Companies Frame Temporal Focus in Social Responsibility Reporting. BUSINESS AND SOCIETY, online first, 1-42 [10.1177/00076503231182627].
Tuan Annamaria, Corciolani Matteo, Giuliani Elisa
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/934393
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