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CSR and its communication at Nestlé Australia
Language: English This thesis is written in English
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Giorgia Castriota, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, 2010-11
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This research project presents a case study of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and reputation management at Nestlé - one of the most boycotted multinational companies - to illustrate a new model of managing CSR. Until now, CSR has been seen as a one-way process where companies need to give something back to the communities in which they operate and many CSR reports are still expressions of a “stakeholder information strategy” or “stakeholder response strategy”. The model presented in this thesis suggests that CSR should be understood more as a two-way mechanism, as business and society are mutually dependent on each other.
The case study explores evidence of proactive CSR communications at Nestlé Australia and helps to identify a cluster of management capabilities that span an organisation’s culture and structure.
Chapter 1 provides an introductory coverage of pertinent topics and issues on CSR. It compares different approaches to the concept, not only taking into account both academic and organisational perspectives, but also explaining how CSR has to be managed in a global arena, how to deal with cultural or normative distances and with different stakeholders’ expectations. It then explains why CSR has become a priority, what are its drivers and the various types and classification that exists and the regulation that guides its implementation. It also compares CSR in different Countries.
Chapter 2 addresses one of the CSR drivers specifically: corporate reputation. The purpose of this section is to describe the importance of reputation for the long-term success of firms and to explain how a daily good behaviour can benefit in reputation. The chapter then introduces a wide range of topics, best practices and typical decision situations when a reputation crisis occurs.
Chapter 3 gives an overview of how CSR and reputation are interlinked. While in the first two chapters CSR and Reputation are treated separately, this section goes beyond the single concepts, to look more closely at how they are linked to each other and explore the synergy that can be created working on the two of them. The theoretical framework presented here serves as the foundation on which the whole project rests.
Chapter 4 is about the methodology used in conducting the research. This chapter gives the start to the second part of the research which focuses on the empirical analysis. In this section the problem of the research is formally stated, specific research questions are formulated, suppositions are advanced and the research design structured. This chapter also describes the methodology employed and provides arguments to support the particular choice as well as the techniques that will be used in collecting and analysing the final data and the assumptions and limitations of the research.
Chapter 5 represents the empirical core of the research. It describes Nestlé case study, starting with a description of the company, its history and its past mistakes, its re-direction and its new commitments. The aim of this chapter is in fact to explain how Nestlé managed to recover its reputation during the years, becoming from the most boycotted companies in the world to one of the most admired.
It then presents a list of research findings and advances a new model of CSR and reputation management, which is the result of a series of interviews carried out with three different key actors in the area - ACCSR (Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility), Nestlé Australia and a CSR expert – and a content analysis on the main Nestlé CSR communication campaigns.
The last part of this paper is aimed to answer the initial questions, to comment and discuss the research findings and to draw implications for future managers.
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