Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility in 5 Star Resorts in Australia.
Corporate Social Responsibility has become important because society views it as an activity that legitimises an organisation (Wartick & Cochran, 1985). In this matter, active and growing industries are volunteering for non-profit causes, giving free business advice and products tonon-profit organisations, adopting activities and behaviours to reduce waste, pollution and recycling (Smith, 2003). In consequence consumers are rewarding those companies who are acting responsibly (Smith, 2003). Companies in tourism, one of the most significant industries in the world, are increasing CSR business principles and practices that have positive benefits for the environment, societyand cultures (Tip, 2009).
Some studies reveal that responsible activities are increasingly valued and demanded by society (McGehee, Meng & Tepanon, 2006) who view CSR activities as the responsible behaviour of businesses, which influences their assessment of value of the industries.
Businesses, more than ever, need to be responsible and accountable due to the great impact that they have on theglobal environment, accompanied society’s greater demand for reporting social responsibility practices and activities (Chaudhri & Wang, 2007). Any action that a business initiates to gain trust and legitimacy through CSR practices also includes its ability to respond to requests made by stakeholders and to communicate with them (Nobuyoki, 2007). Capriotti & Moreno (2007) stated that it isimportant for companies to communicate their responsible behaviour to their stakeholders, thus making communication, essential element in the management of corporate social responsibility. Sen, Batacharya and Korschin (2006) showed that stakeholders may respond to CSR activities with an array of company-favouring behaviour.
Moreover the need for communication about CSR practices is increasinglydemanded by society. As CSR is understood as “the stated commitments of an organisation” to go past economic profits and benefits, to strengthen relationships with stakeholders, and to keep transparency and ethical behaviour, communication is a key element to the practices of CSR (Capriotti & Moreno, 2007).
The Tourism industry is one of the largest industries in the world (Smith, 1995). As one ofthe most increasing industries, tourism has a significant impact in the global economy as it has become one of the fastest increasing sectors (Kasim, 2006). Therefore hotels and resorts, as key traders in the industry need to play greater roles in the society by having better CSR programmes and initiatives, and a better understanding and communication of them. Accordingly, the triple bottom lineapproach to CSR which refers to measuring success in terms of social, environmental, and economic factors, (Elkington, 1997) suggests that the tourist and hospitality industries must endeavour to balance these three areas of responsibility.
CSR falls within the public relations portfolio because it affects organizational image and reputation, as CSR programmes provide the opportunity to buildgoodwill amongst company stakeholders (L’Etang, 1994). PR practitioners may be responsible not just for communication about the CSR programme, but for proposing CSR activities and identifying the relevant stakeholders, (l’Etang, 1994).
First there is a literature review on the meaning of Corporate Social Responsibility followed by an examination of the importance of CSR communication and CSR inTourism.
3. Literature Review
3.1 Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility
The concept of corporate social responsibility is based on the triple bottom line approach to CSR practices, that is the engagement that a company makes with stakeholders, whetter to fulfil its economic, social and environmental obligations (Elkington, 1997). The construct of the concept of corporate social...