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Information about Ganga

Published on January 7, 2009

Author: aSGuest9555


Corporate Social Responsibility & Marketing: a cause lost in frame alignment? : Corporate Social Responsibility & Marketing: a cause lost in frame alignment? Ganga Sasidharan, National University of Singapore, Singapore The Makeover : The Makeover 1960 “Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money for their stockholders as possible” (Milton Friedman) 2002 “Total Responsibility Management can become a significant competitive advantage for companies” (Bodwell, Graves & Waddock) Issue of vagueness : Issue of vagueness “Those opposed to corporate social responsibility have one final argument in their intellectual arsenal, that social responsibility is too vague to be useful” (Jones, 1980, p. 60) “This vagueness has been the determining factor in a firm’s decision to delay actions of positive social value indefinitely” (Rowe & Schlacter, 1978, p. 7). According to the Commission of the European Communities (2002, as quoted in Sriramesh, Ng, Ting & Wanyin, 2006) evidence that can prove the assumed links between CSR and the achievement of corporate goals (e.g. profitability, sustainability, reputation or branding) would perhaps be the “best and most effective argument to encourage uptake of CSR” (p. 7). The argument : The argument Cause lost in frame alignment? “Enlightened” business leaders Academia NGOs, SMOs Corporates Investors Employees Consumers General public Dilution of the issue: The Ugandan case No profits Vague Feel good TO For profits SMART ROI Enabled use in marketing strategies Framing theory & Public Relations : Framing theory & Public Relations “Symbolic and behavioral relationships are intertwined like the strands of a rope” (Grunig, 1993). While, focused on building organisation-public relationships Also, concerned with dialogic communication and articulation “In developing programs, public relations professionals fundamentally operate as frame strategists, who strive to determine how situations, attributes, choices, actions, issues, and responsibility should be posed to achieve favorable outcomes for clients.” (Hallahan, 1999, p. 224) Individuals, organizations and nations engage in framing Framing theory : Framing theory “To frame is to: select some aspects of a perceived reality and make them more salient in a communicating text, in such a way as to promote a particular problem definition, causal interpretation, moral evaluation, and/or treatment recommendation” (Entman, 1993, p. 55) “Frames: select and call attention to particular aspects of the reality described, which logically means that frames simultaneously direct attention away from other aspects” (Entman, 1993, p. 55) A frame around a picture: “attention gets focused on what is relevant and important and away from extraneous items in the field of view” (Noakes and Johnston, 2005, p. 2). Framing theory & SMOs : Framing theory & SMOs Frame alignment Groups attempt to create linkages among otherwise disparate individuals (Snow, Rochford, Worden & Benford, 1986) In order to make the frame more intelligible to potential constituents, actors often draw on the symbols and themes familiar to the target audience. (Snow & Benford, 1988) The key to framing is finding evocative cultural symbols that resonate with potential constituents and are capable of motivating them to collective action. (Tarrow, as cited in Valochi, 2005, p.54) “Potential constituents are more likely to embrace a frame that draws on belief and values that make up part of the target group’s cultural tool kit.” (Noakes & Johnston, 2005, p.14) Framing theory & SMOs : Framing theory & SMOs Frame extension “An SMO may have to extend the boundaries of its primary framework so as to encompass interests or points of view that are incidental to its primary objectives but of considerable salience to potential adherents.” (p.472) From vague, feel-good concept to a SMART idea Objectivity, measurability, action-orientation, return on investment Frame amplification “Clarification and invigoration of an interpretive frame.” (p.469) “Value amplification refers to the identification, idealization and elevation of one or more values presumed basic to prospective constituents but have not inspired collective action for any number of reasons.” (p.469) Objectivity, measurability, action-orientation, return on investment (Snow, Rochford, Worden & Benford, 1986) Framing theory & CSR : Framing theory & CSR Truth Justice Equality Human rights Poverty alleviation Global warming Profits Return on Investment Bottomline Measurability Action orientation SMO Corporation FRAME ALIGNMENT REFRAMING The Reframingfrom “CSR beyond profits” to “CSR for profits” : The Reframingfrom “CSR beyond profits” to “CSR for profits” 1953 “Businessmen were responsible for the consequences of their actions in a sphere somewhat wider than that covered by their profits and loss statements” (Bowen, quoting a Fortune magazine’s survey as cited in Carroll, 1999, p. 270) 1960 “Businessmen’s decisions and actions taken for reasons at least partially beyond the firm’s direct economical or technical interest” (Davis, 1960, p. 70) 1970s Corporate social performance (Backman, 1975; Sethi, 1975; Abbott & Monsen, 1979). 1984 “The proper social responsibility of business is to tame the dragon that is to turn a social problem into economic opportunity and economic benefit, into productive capacity, into human competence, into well-paid jobs, and into wealth.” (Drucker, 1984) 2002 Total Responsibility Management can become a significant competitive advantage for companies” (Bodwell, Graves & Waddock, 2002) It worked!…Frame resonance : It worked!…Frame resonance Use in corporate marketing strategies Consumers…carbon credit, green marketing Investors…green business, SRI funds Employees…recruitment, retention It worked? Well… Cause lost? The other side of carbon trading : Cause lost? The other side of carbon trading “Planting trees in Uganda to offset greenhouse-gas emissions in Europe seemed like a good idea-until farmers were evicted from their land to make room for a forest” (Fortune, Sept 3, 2007, p. 71). Slide 14: Face Foundation non-profit Dutch power companies Reforest park’s perimeter Contested land Evicted in 1990s Injunction against evictions in 2006 Airline passengers Cause lost? : Cause lost? Villagers stand amidst corn they've planted on what the government says is national park, but which they claim has belonged to them for generations. To plant the corn, the villagers chopped down trees planted by the Face Foundation as part of a carbon trading project. Cause lost? : Cause lost? A tree planted by the Face Foundation as part of a carbon trading project has been cut down. The land behind it up to the tree line recently held planted trees, but has been cleared for planting by villagers who say the land belongs to them. A typical example of frame alignment gone wrong : A typical example of frame alignment gone wrong Global warming Carbon credits Emissions trading (terms taken from the lexicon of corporates) Sell to airline passengers Indifferent implementation Counter productive Has the reframing led to a dilution of the environmental issue it was designed to support? Perspectives : Perspectives Frame alignment successful but over simplification of fundamentally complex issues and indifferent implementation can be counter productive. The PR practitioner needs to be aware and conscious of the socio-cultural complexities involved in engaging with diverse communities across the world and not blindly implement the organisation’s plans in the name of CSR. As a boundary spanner, the PR practitioner’s role is not merely to communicate the pre-selected policies and motives of the organisation or nation, but to actively and sensitively engage with its various publics and use that dialogic understanding to inform and influence policy making. Thank you : Thank you

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