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Managing corporate social responsibility: lessons from the oil industry

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the manner in which companies deal with key stakeholders in relation to corporate social responsibility (CSR), focusing in particular on how companies can handle critical incidents related to CSR and utilize these experiences in enforcing their regular social responsibility. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper is based on a case study methodology. Findings ‐ CSR should be managed by a combination of handling unexpected episodes that threaten existing social responsibility (incident recovery) and the long-term reduction of gaps between stakeholder expectations and the company performance (CSR enforcement). Furthermore, CSR implies building and maintaining relationships with society through interplay between actors, resources and activities. Practical implications ‐ The study contributes to managerial decision making by identifying seven types of implications and activities necessary to actively manage key aspects of social responsibility. Originality/value ‐ The paper integrates long-term social responsibility enforcement with short-term social responsibility recovery by means of a recent corporate case from the oil industry.
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Keywords: Channel relationships; Communication management; Corporate social responsibility; Oil industry; Stakeholder analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 9, 2008

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