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Blanca Grey

supervisor: Prof. Daniele Archibugi

How corporate openness around corporate responsibility influences stakeholder trust

My study starts from the premise that as the number of companies reporting on their corporate responsibility CR practices, policies and outcomes increases on the one hand, according to the Edelman Trust Barometer, public trust in business declines and continues declining, particularly in the aftermath of the financial crisis. This would suggest that current transparency efforts in CR do not translate in an improved public trust.  It is typically understood that openness and transparency improve trust and as companies become more open about their activities, they become more trusted members of society. However, in the context of a general lack of legislation of CR reporting, the ability to predict trust may be hard to achieve. My study concerns with the role of CR reporting in building public trust. It will therefore aim at gaining a better understanding of how public trust can be built and maintained within a context of a no legislation around CR reporting.

keywords: Corporate responsibility, public trust, communicative action, stakeholder engagement

Methodology

  • Qualitative: Thematic analysis of corporate responsibility reports and corporate responsibility index rankings. (first phase)
  • Data Collection: semi-structured interviews with CR managers and practitioners and representative stakeholder groups"

Blanca Grey