Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an established management focus of todays’ corporates and organizations of various kind, scope and size. This is supported by the book series on CSR by Springer Gabler, in which the planned volume is embedded in.
The social impact (SI) on the society and the key publics for which they function is lately debated in various fields of (mostly strategic) communication research (Rasche et al., 2018 ; Morsing 2018, Diehl et al., 2017 ; Allen 2006 ; Heath, 2018 ; Johnston et al., 2018 ; Saffer, 2019). Alongside, the idea that organizations need the permission, the license to operate (SLO) (Hurst & Ihlen, 2018), challenges all kind of business, but media corporations in particular. Unlike CSR initiatives in other industry sectors, CSR and Sustainability communication practices and related research in the media industry is still underdeveloped. This may be
- Firstly, due to the fact that until recently the media industry has not been challenged to introduce sustainable and responsible business models anyway.
- Secondly, the watchdog-role that media play in observing traditional businesses and politics has provided a general legitimacy for a long time.
- And thirdly, the debate about the media’s public value has covered questions about responsibilities towards the society and related impact so far.
However, in an era where fake news is constantly spread and algorithms co-decide the media agenda, the question about the impact on the public sphere, the public value of media products and the license to operate are becoming prevalent with a new normative framework of sustainability. In this book we will bridge the “former” debate on public value with the current debate about social impact and the social license to operate in the media industry. In the focus is the double nature of producing economic and cultural goods at the same time (Bracker et al., 2017 ; Karmasin & Bichler, 2017) which leads to the assumption that media companies have a double responsibility for the way they present reality (in their products) and with this controlling and criticizing economic and political developments and raising ethical concerns in the public debate on the one hand (SOCIAL IMPACT), and for their own activities as a corporation on the other hand (LICENSE TO OPERATE).
The guiding question for contributions to this volume is the following : How do media corporations deal with their twin responsibility of holding society responsible and being responsible themselves ? A second set of questions guides the inputs from various theoretical as well as cultural perspectives :
- What exactly do media outlets perceive as their responsibilities ?
- Do media companies expend resources for CSR and, if so, what kind of resources and to what extent ?
- What kind of resources (e.g., reputation, image, publicity) do media companies gain from Social Impact orientation and related CSR activities ?
- How is responsibility allocated and taken along the media production process ?
- What about the dimensions of responsibility like environmental responsibility, but as well gender, diversity and inclusion ?
- What about the differences and overlaps between individual responsibility and morality and organizational ethics ?
- Is there a difference between the walk and talk of media firms regarding their CSR practices ?
- And, if so, what is the reason for this gap ?
- What are elements of a sustainable business model when it comes to media outlets ?
- What is the “social impact” of a media corporation ?
- Which role do theories of engagement journalism and engagement communication playhere ?
We are seeking for global perspectives in the issue that will stimulate a conversation about innovative approaches in an industry where a stronger focus on sustainability as normative framework to discuss the public value is increasingly converging with economic goals. The European perspective with a historically strong role of public broadcasting should be contrasted with an Oceanian as well as US-perspective. Furthermore, there is a specific outlook to the challenges of cross-border management.
We are interested in “easy to read” contributions written in German and English from academics (on all levels) and practitioners in the areas of seeking for global perspectives on the issue that will stimulate a conversation about
- CSR & CSR Communication
- Management/Media Management
- Communication Scholars,
- Business Scholars in related areas