CSR communication: Quo vadis? A systematic review of the literature and introduction to the special issue

U. Golob, W. Elving, C. Thomsen, K. Podnar, A. Nielsen, F. Schultz

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper aims to introduce the special issue on CSR communication attached to the First International CSR Communication Conference held in Amsterdam in October 2011. The aim of the introduction is also to review CSR communication papers published in scholarly journals in order to make a summary of the state of CSR communication knowledge. The existing literature on CSR communication was approached via systematic review. with a combination of conventional and summative qualitative content analysis. The final dataset contained 90 papers from two main business and management databases, i.e. EBSCOhost and ProQuest. Papers were coded into three main categories. The results show that the majority of the papers are concerned with disclosure themes. Considerably less salient are papers that fall under process-oriented themes and the outcomes/consequences of CSR communications. The most important outlets for CSR communication-related topics are Journal of Business Ethics and Corporate Communications: An International Journal. This paper represents the first attempt to perform a systematic and comprehensive overview of CSR communication papers in scholarly journals. Its value is in making this rather vast and heterogeneous literature more visible and accessible to all CSR communication scholars. © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-192
Number of pages26
JournalCorporate Communications: An International Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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