Global Automakers. CSR Reporting and Targeted Stakeholders 2018-2020
Keywords:CSR Reporting; Automobile, Pre-COVID-19, Post-COVID-19, CSR Disclosure, Global Automobile Industry, Stakeholders, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Global Markets
This paper deployed a network-based computational content analysis approach to uncover the major themes and targeted stakeholder groups presented in the top leadership’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports’ introductory letters for eleven major global vehicle manufacturers for the period 2018-2020. Themes were based on the 3Ps of sustainability (people, planet, and profit), basic business practices (economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic) in the context of CSR, time orientation of the themes whether short- or long- term, and identified targeted stakeholder groups. This study is unique in that the extant literature reveals no research examining CSR disclosure in the automobile industry from both a sustainable goal-directed and practices perspective incorporating potential influences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Results revealed that some vehicle manufacturers focused on investor and economic activities while others communicated a general social responsibility message. During 2020, greater emphasis was placed on investors and somewhat less on society in general. Findings suggest the need for a more balanced representation geared toward addressing pandemic and post-pandemic challenges as well as traditional automotive manufacturing considerations.
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