Typically, when people think about sustainability in the realm of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), they think about the specific activities of companies, such as conservation of natural resources and the integration of alternative energy in buildings and factories. Some companies, however, take sustainability a step further in their CSR efforts.
Most manager’s approach to communicating with stakeholders tends to be one that is based on a model of strategic persuasion rather than ‘democratic’ communication or ‘dialogue’. Managers are often hesitant to include stakeholders in crucial decisions by disclosing information, sharing power and granting autonomy. They often also lack the right model and skills of democratic communication necessary for coordinating divergent interests. However, given significant change in how organizations operate now, managers must now take up leadership roles and must use communication to help stakeholders understand and implement changes, policies and work together towards achieving the organization’s objectives, vision and mission. Communication with stakeholders must involve authenticity, truthfulness and reflect passionate commitment to a clear, inspiring and sustainable Corporate Social Responsibility act.
With the existence of social media and other new media technologies, communication with stakeholders should be easier, more interactive, simultaneous and engaging. However, not many businesses leverage on the use of new media, social media and other technologies leaving them trailing others that embraces it only to realize that is where most of their audiences are now. To make matters worse for businesses, new media and social media acts as watchdogs, spying on businesses and reporting to the network community. Positive mentions are very much welcomed but it also takes one negative mention to take an organization sprawling down.
Organizations may find it difficult to engage in a real dialogue about CSR with their stakeholders. By real, I mean online and offline. In this regards, there are three standard communication strategies for CSR. They are the Stakeholder Information Strategy, Stakeholder Response Strategy and Stakeholder Involvement Strategy. Look this up on the internet for better understanding.
Now, think about a manager or leader of an organization that you are familiar with or have worked for in the past. How successful was this manager or leader as a communicator in regards to communicating the company’s CSR effort or activities. Did he/she took the advantage of using the new media and social media. How so? Was he/she able to garner the stakeholders support and commitment? Describe and evaluate the approach or strategy taken by this manager or leader or CSR Champion. To what extend does his/her communication play a role in determining the success or failure of the CSR project.
In 2500 words (approximately 5 pages long), discuss in length the above scenario. Your term paper should highlight necessary information on CSR Strategies, New Media/Social Media Landscape and Leadership Roles. Include example, photos, tables or graphs in your appendices.
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