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Making sense of corporate social responsibility strategies in construction organisations in the UK

Singh, A., Connaughton, J. and Davies, R. (2015) Making sense of corporate social responsibility strategies in construction organisations in the UK. In: Raiden, A. and Aboagye-Nimo, E. (eds.) Proceedings 31st Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2015, Lincoln, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Reading, pp. 187-196. ISBN 9780955239090

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Abstract/Summary

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been conceptualized in a variety of ways and interest groups approach the subject differently. These variations have been observed in the way construction organisations in the UK report on their CSR activities. Research into CSR practices has used annual CSR reports to demonstrate the differences in reporting practices across geographies and sectors. However, what many of these studies have not explored is how reporting CSR practices can provide an insight into the evolution of CSR within these organisations. This paper adopts a sensemaking perspective to explore how construction organisations have labelled and categorised CSR in their annual CSR reports and if these have evolved over time. The annual CSR reports are treated as products of CSR related sensemaking processes within the organisations. A desktop study was conducted of annual reports from 2009-2013 of three large construction organisations in the UK. The data from these reports was analysed and the evolution of CSR within these organisations was plotted on the basis of labels and categories each individual organisation assigned to CSR. The study reveals that these labels and categories are individual to the organisation. Furthermore, the study shows that the labels and categories evolve and change over a time period, thus hinting at an active ongoing CSR sensemaking process within these organisations. An important observation is that the organisations have shifted from CSR to sustainability reporting. Elements of sensemaking theory are applied as a theoretical lens for explaining how the evolution of CSR has occurred within these organisations. This study forms the initial part of a larger piece of work on understanding the dynamics of CSR strategies in large construction organisations.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Transition Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy
ID Code:69030
Uncontrolled Keywords:Corporate Social Responsibility ,CSR Reporting, labelling, sensemaking
Publisher:Association of Researchers in Construction Management

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