An evaluation of corporate social responsibility communication on the websites of telecommunication companies operating in Ghana: Impression management perspectives

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, 2017, 15 (1), pp. 17 - 31
Issue Date:
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© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication on corporate websites have become an emerging trend by firms. Similarly, corporate websites have been used to manage stakeholders’ impressions about the organization. Meanwhile, CSR by firms have been criticized for been a manipulative tactics used by firms. The purpose of this paper therefore is to ascertain how telecommunication companies operating in Ghana communicate CSR on their corporate websites. Design/methodology/approach: This study used a qualitative content analysis technique. It also used Bolino et al.’s (2008) impression management framework as the conceptual framework. Data were extracted from the websites of four telecommunication companies operating in Ghana. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis techniques. Findings: The results show that the companies use impression management in communicating CSR on their corporate websites. Account, assertive impression management; blaring, boasting, defensive impression management; demonstrative impression management; exemplification, favor-rendering, illustrative impression management; ingratiation, other-enhancement, other-focused impression management; self-enhancement, self-focused impression management; and self-promotion tactics are tactics prevalent in the CSR communication of the companies. Actor-to-actor link impression management and other emotional appeal also emerged as some of the impression management tactics used by the companies. Originality/value: This provides insights into how organizations use impression management in their CSR communication on their corporate websites. Studies of this nature are limited. Again, studies specifically adapting Bolino et al.’s impression management to study CSR communication on corporate websites are rare.
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