Best practices in corporate social responsibility communication: Interplay between macro- and meso-factors among top Asian companies

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project aims to fills a gap in both communication scholarship and professional development by using the “best practices” approach to investigate corporate social responsibility communication in Asia. Unlike previous studies, the unit of analysis is not the individual practitioner but taking the organizational settings (meso-factors) and socio-political environment (macro-factors) into consideration from 10 best exemplars in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Australia.

This study also attempts to address the existing gap in knowledge about how Asian companies interpret “best practices” in CSR and stakeholder engagement which have predominantly relied on international regulatory standards and Western/overseas textbook examples. Drawing upon the Circuit of Culture framework and Communication Constitutes Organization theory, this study aims to explore the interplay between macro- and meso-factors to uncover the true communication dynamics connected with the sensemaking and co-creation of best practices in Asia among CEOs, CSR directors, communication practitioners, employees, NGO partners, and local community stakeholders.

A key challenge in developing a best-practices approach is to identify a sufficiently large sample of cases from which generalized rules and principles can be synthesized. Therefore, a three-pronged approach is proposed to reveal the power, conflicts, and tensions as well as the challenges and strategies for CSR communication and engagement. First, document analysis will be conducted to systematically review the best practices in CSR communication from past five years of academic papers and professional reports. Second, a Delphi study will be conducted among CSR experts and scholars to articulate a set of principles for best practices based on the guided theories. Third, 10 case studies of existing best practices organizations in Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia will be conducted through ethnomethodological approach to observe, record, and transcribe available organizational resources from agency and non-human actors.

This is so as to identify the key factors and communication dynamics in order to construct a relevant model for best practices in CSR and stakeholder engagement is Asia, which can be transferred into an open-source website to educate communication students and CSR practitioners in Asia with vivid case examples along with luncheon workshops partnered with professional associations.
Effective start/end date1/10/1830/09/21

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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