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Corporate Social Responsibility in the Energy Industry

Title: Corporate Social Responsibility in the Energy Industry: A Content Analysis of Leading Energy Companies' Websites.
Name(s): Zhao, Wen, author
Sypher, Ulla, professor co-directing thesis
Lee, Jaejin, professor co-directing thesis
McDowell, Stephen D., committee member
Chapa, Sindy, committee member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Communication and Information, degree granting college
School of Communication, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2015
Publisher: Florida State University
Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (115 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: This study aimed at investigating the content of leading energy corporations' communications about corporate social responsibility (CSR). The specific purpose was to explore how the leading energy corporations communicate CSR activities as three distinctive approaches on their websites, to compare the differences among the three approaches, and to investigate the relationship between the information on the websites that addresses stakeholder relationship and the financial performance. Drawing on the theories and instruments from corporate social responsibility literature, this study explored the performance of CSR through a content analysis of leading energy corporations' websites. The results showed that leading energy corporations employed diverse means to build the good image of socially responsible corporations, and they exhibited strong commitments to employees, shareholders, and the natural environment. Qualitative results showed that leading energy corporations crafted and disseminated information in different levels and formats, and widely adopted visualized information. Differences worth underlining were the fact that leading energy corporations do not display the same eagerness to communicate with stakeholders using these three approaches. The ethical business conduct approach was emphasized the most and the strategic public philanthropy approach was the least. Further, this study found that there was no statistically significant correlation between the information on websites that addresses stakeholder relations and company financial performance (ROIC) among the leading energy corporations. The results suggested that there was little variation among their web-based CSR information, especially stakeholders' information. Finally, the findings of this study suggested that stakeholder communication in CSR had been ingrained in leading energy corporations' norms and values.
Identifier: FSU_migr_etd-9505 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Thesis submitted to the School of Communication in partial fulfillment of the Master of Science.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester, 2015.
Date of Defense: April 1, 2015.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, Financial Performance, Stakeholder Relationship, Three Key Approaches to CSR, Web Communication
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Ulla Sypher, Professor Co-Directing Thesis; Jaejin Lee, Professor Co-Directing Thesis; Stephen McDowell, Committee Member; Sindy Chapa, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Communication
World Wide Web
Study and teaching
Persistent Link to This Record:
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Host Institution: FSU

Choose the citation style.
Zhao, W. (2015). Corporate Social Responsibility in the Energy Industry: A Content Analysis of Leading Energy Companies' Websites. Retrieved from