Embracing a constitutive view of communication, this study explores how organizations in Hong Kong make sense of and negotiate their corporate societal commitment. It does that by examining how the considered organizations construct their engagement in society and talk of their aspirations on identified society-oriented doings by cultural discourse analysis. Findings show that the studied Hong Kong companies constructed their engagement by communicationally relating to other societal actors, establishing we-ness in community engagement actions, incorporating elements of the local cultures (languages and places) and in their reasoning and disclosing emotion-rich considerations. Aspirations were instead presented through a constant reference to stakeholders’ interests and concerns and local and international standards’ precepts. Companies also tended to recognize that interventions had to be undertaken steps by steps, while searching for credibility in “more-balanced” vision-statements. This study offers a socio-cultural perspective complementary to studying social license to operate in public relations research.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
- Cultural discourse analysis
- Social license to operate
- Socio-cultural meaning