Expressiveness as a driver for innovation - The case of CSR Presentation at the seminar “The role of corporations in ‘a world at risk’” at NTNU 19-20 November 2012 Øivind Hagen Associate professor BI Norwegian Business School
The 5 CSR frames (Wayne Visser, 2011) • Greed • Philantropy • Marketing • Management • Responsibility
The rise of the expressive economy • 1962: Tom Burns ”The third phase of industralization” • “In these circumstances, the capitalist organization’s dependence on growth leads to enhanced sensitivity to the consumer, to new techniques to stimulate to consumption (e.g. product development, design, consumer research, market research, advertising, marketing, branding), to the internalization of firms in search of new markets, and new technical developments that increasingly occur within industrial firms (e.g. via research and development)” (Hatch with Cunliffe 2006, p. 92). • 1960/70s: Consumption becomes political • 1980/90s: Globalization • Thus, • the symbolic role of products and companies gets important • growing interest in concepts like reputation, brand, identy, image and values
Culture and economy becomes one • “Economic and symbolic processes are more than ever interrelated; that is… the economy is increasingly culturally inflected and… culture is more and more economically inflected. Thus the boundaries between the two become more and more blurred and the economy and culture no longer function in regard to one another as system and environment” (Lash and Urry, 1994: 64)
Defining expressiveness • “By expressiveness, we mean a willingness by companies to put themselves out there, to convey who they are, what they do, and what they stand for” (Fombrun and van Riel, 2004: 95) • Expressiveness is related to measures taken by an organization to present ideas of who or what it (the elite) thinks it is or wishes to be, in order to influence stakeholders and the general public’s opinions about it. The measures include image building, branding and corporate storytelling.
Implicit and explicit CSR • Concepts developed by Matten and Moon to describe differences in approaches to CSR in USA and Europe • Implicit CSR • CSR is defined by law, norms and institutions in a society • Explicit CSR • Companies must themselves define what their social responsibilities are, end communicate this • Europe and Scandinavia is changing from implicit to explicit CSR as a part of the growing expressiveness
CSR – a management fad? • IS CSR simply a management fashion, like BPR and TQM, that will fade away? • Neo institutionalism: companies must communicate CSR (be expressive on CSR) to gain legitimacy • Hits on google • CSR: 35.6 mill • TQM: 16.6 • BPR: 16.2 • Article hits (google scholar) • CSR: 372.000 • TQM: 126.000 • BPR: 75.600
My approach to CSR • Defining CSR • ”CSR is about positioning a company in light of overall challenges in society particularly relevant for the company’s business, and to expose what the company does to fullfill this position” • Implications • The definition is normative • A company must continually interpret what its social responsibility is • The social responsibility chagens continually an must be updated and redefined • A company should be able to communicate its CSR-challenges and wwhat it does to solve these • The way a company defines its social responsibility should reflect the overall challenges in society and the overall discourse.
HÅG: Between self-fulfilling prophecies and self-seduction 1. Heavy exposure (first half of the 1990s) 2. Follow up through self-fulfilling prophecies (1995 – 2001/02) 3. Stagnation (2002 – 2004) 4. The spill incident (winter 2004) caused by self-seduction