COMMUNICATING CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: AN EXPLORATORY CASE STUDY OF A MAJOR UK RETAIL CENTRE

By Ryan Bowd

This dissertation is submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the MRes by Manchester Metropolitan University

Graduate School of Business

July, 2003

DECLARATION

I, Ryan Bowd, have not been a registered candidate for any other award of a university whilst being registered for this MRes.

No material within this dissertation has been used in any other submission for an academic award.

Ryan Bowd

July, 2003

2

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank the Retail Centre in question, its management and staff who were kind enough to take the time and effort to take part in this study that dealt with a subject that they recognised the importance of, and where willing to take the risk of being scrutinised impartially on. I would like to also thank the individual stakeholders of the Centre, which participated in the study.

I am grateful to Danny Moss, Prof. Richard Thorpe, Dr. Joep Cornillissen, Prof. Ossie Jones and my colleagues in the MMU Graduate School of Business for their encouragement, guidance and especially constructive criticisms that have helped to develop the faculties in me that made this dissertation possible.

I would like to give special thanks and recogniztion to my director of studies Dr. Phil Harris and Judith Bourassa. Also I sincerely thank my business partner Mark Hayward and Dr. Les Bowd, who in their own special way were the rocks that helped me through the turbulent times and guided along the path when I veered. The debt I own them is one that I cannot repay.

I am also grateful to my Mother, Dash and Bebe. Also what would I do without copious doses of Diet Coke, which gave me a much needed lift at different times.

3

“Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all accurately so they will be guided by its light.” Joseph Pulitzer

4

ABBREVIATIONS CSR Mres IPR PRSA Corporate Social Responsibility Master in Research Institute of Public Relations Public Relations Society of America

5

ABSTRACT Corporate “Social Responsibility [CSR] is neither a fad nor an optional extra. The interest in it is reflective of a deeper change in the relationship between companies and their stakeholders. Healthy business requires a healthy community, and should be contributing to its creation and maintenance. The public increasingly wants to know about companies that stand behind the brands and products presented to them. And use their power to reward “good” companies and punish the “bad” ones.” (Lewis, S. 2001)

CSR is becoming ever more important in the modern business environment, as is evident by the fact that most leading public companies include a specific statement on their CSR policy within their annual reports. Indeed, changing societal expectations, increasingly intrusive media reporting, and ever more sophisticated and powerful pressure groups have caused all organisations to consider more carefully their wider social responsibilities not only out of altruistic reasons, but because of the need to consider the potential impact of their policies on their wider stakeholder relationships. Inevitably, the subject of CSR has attracted increasing academic and professional attention both within general business and communications circles. This burgeoning interest in it has seen academics, corporate stakeholders and governments all calling on large and small corporations to adopt CSR orientated approaches to business, as advocated in the opening quote of the abstract. Proponents of this argue that CSR orientated organisations benefit from a series of tangible and intangible results, when stakeholders are informed of their orientation. Although currently, as stated in the Commission of the European Communities “Communication from the Commission concerning; Corporate Social Responsibility: A Business Contribution to Sustainable Development”, corporations are yet to be sure of the business case. As a result, major 6

initiatives are underway into illustrating this case by the Commission of the European Communities and the Academy of Business Society. Corporations have reacted to these calls and this belief in a business case and are implementing CSR programmes or corporate change to bring about new corporate mindsets, and are in-turn communicating the results of these programmes. This process of communication is being carried out by various methods, using differing communications vehicles to communicate with the various stakeholders of the organisation. However, as demonstrated by the recent release of British American Tobacco’s CSR Report they are not always effective and are sometimes being viewed as purely an exercise in public relations.

This diversity in methods and what is being communicated, uncertainty of success and notably failed attempts inspired this author to carry-out a research to examine the “communication of corporate social responsibility” and attempt to tease out best practice for his PhD studies. As a result, for this Master in Research dissertation the author carries out a pilot research case. This is a study testing the methodology he intends to use for his main PhD study while examining the effectiveness of the communication of corporate social responsibility at a major UK retail centre based in the Northwest of England.

Chapter 1 of the dissertation introduces the research and sets out the author’s goals and objectives for the research and the potential significance of the research and its purpose, as well as its rationale.

Chapter 2 reviews the emerging literature on CSR and seeks to tease out the current temporal definition of Corporate Social Responsibility, which the author believes was

7

an important starting point necessary to achieve the objectives of the research and take the subject forward. Here the author identifies three predominant schools of thought in respect to CSR and the contexts they exist within. These are the Bowen School, the Friedman School and the Commission of the European Communities School. Using the rationale advanced by the latter school, a definition of CSR blending aspects of all three is advanced and discussed.

Chapter three examines relevant communications theory and models that will be necessary to effectively design the research and analyse its findings. Most notably this chapter reviews models of communication, methods of communications and stakeholder communication theory.

Chapter four commences by outlining the research paradigms adopted by the researcher and which impacted upon the study. Those being working in a mode two knowledge production system within a nominalist ontology, with a social constructionist framework and taking a relativist ethical stance. Following on from this the two-phase data collection methodology utilised is reviewed: The first gathered the management of the centre’s viewpoints and beliefs qualitatively, then tested these against that of the centre’s stakeholders quantitatively in the second phase. After reviewing the methodology, the limitations of it are discussed.

After the review of the methodology, chapter five outlines the findings of the research in relation to its two phases of data collection and draws out the findings relevant to the aims of the research, amongst others.

8

Most notably, the research identifies the large degree of symmetry between management and stakeholder views of CSR, variable levels of awareness amongst stakeholders in respect to CSR communication activities, and the effectiveness of broad based communication initiatives targeted at “user” stakeholders.

Chapter six discusses the findings of the research, draws conclusions, discusses the limitations of the study as a whole and raises questions for future research.

9

CONTENTS Declaration Acknowledgements Abbreviations Abstract Contents List of figures and Tables Chapter 1 1.1 1.2 Chapter 2 2.1 Introduction Research Aims and Objectives Potential Significance Literature Review: Corporate Social Responsibility A Schools Approach To The Debate 2.1.1 2.1.2 Bowen School Friedman School 2 3 5 6 10 12 14 17 18 20 20 21 28 29 30 32 32 35 42 43 44 45 45

2.1.3 CEC School 2.2 Chapter 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Chapter 4 4.1 Summary: The Neo-Friedman School of Thought Literature Review: Communications (Public Relations) Historical Perspective Communications Theory and Models Communications Techniques Current Communication of CSR Summary Research Methodology Purpose of the research

10

4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Chapter 5 5.1 5.2 5.3 Chapter 6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 Bibliography Appendix A Appendix B Appendix C Appendix D Appendix E Appendix F Appendix G

Research Paradigms Outcome of the research Validity and Reliability Methods of Data Collection and Analysis Limitations of Methods Findings & Results Phase One Findings Phase Two Findings Summary Discussion & Conclusion Discussion & Conclusions Recommendations Limitations of the Study Implications for Future Research

46 53 53 55 62 64 64 73 81 82 82 86 87 87 90

Management Interview Scripts Management Cognitive Interview Questions Management Cognitive Interview Overall Maps Management Cognitive Interview Individual Maps: Examples Quantitative Questionnaire SPSS Output Review of 2001 Annual Reports

103 145 146 160 164 171 172

11

LIST OF FIGURES AND TABLES Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3 Figure 4 Increase in Academic Literature on CSR in Citation Indexes Carroll’s Model of Corporate Social Responsiveness Woods Model of CSP Grunig and Hunt’s Five Stages of the Development of Public Relations Figure 5 Figure 6 Figure 7 Figure 8 Figure 9 Figure 10 Figure 11 Figure 12 Figure 13 Figure 14 Figure 15 Shannon and Weaver’s Model of Communication Types of Noise Grunig and Hunt’s Models of Public Relations Planning Public Relations Campaigns Generic Types of Stakeholders Stone’s List of Stakeholders Stakeholder Classes PR Techniques Examples of CSR Communications Mode 1 and 2 Research Defined (Characteristics) Tranfield and Starkey’s ‘Dual Approach to the Production of Knowledge’ Figure 16 Figure 17 Ontologies of Social Science Characteristics of Positivism, Relativism and Social Constructionism Figure 18 Methodological Implications of Different Epistemologies Within Social Science Figure 19 Figure 20 Overarching Questions for Cognitive Mapping Interviews Breakdown of Quantitative Survey Distribution 57 58 52 50 52 36 37 38 39 40 40 42 42 44 48 48 15 24 27 34

12

Figure 21 Figure 22 Figure 23 Figure 24 Figure 25 Figure 26 Figure 27 Figure 28 Figure 29 Figure 30 Figure 31

Management View of CSR CSR Fulfilment by the Retail Centre List of Retail Centre Stakeholders Methods of Communicating CSR by the Retail Centre Centre Brochure Benefits of CSR Communication to the Centre Breakdown of Quantitative Survey Respondents Respondents View of CSR What the Retail Centre is Doing in Relation to CSR Sources of Information on Centre’s CSR Activities Outcomes of the Centre’s CSR Communications

66 68 69 70 71 72 74 75 77 79 80

13

CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

“Social Responsibility is neither a fad nor an optional extra. The interest in it is reflective of a deeper change in the relationship between companies and their stakeholders…Healthy business requires a healthy community, and should be contributing to its creation and maintenance. The public increasingly wants to know about companies that stand behind the brands and products presented to them. And use their power to reward “good” companies and punish the “bad” ones.” (Lewis, S. 2001) Lewis’s statement on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) forms part of what is an ever-increasing debate within management and communications literatures as well as within the non-academic world. In the UK, Europe and internationally, CSR has become a ‘buzzword’ from the boardroom to the living room pushed to the fore by growing media coverage dealing with such issues as corporate governance and environmental responsibility. (Jackson, B. 2001) Recent high profile corporate debacles such as Enron, Marconni and WorldCom have served to focus attention on the often largely obscured world of corporate behaviour. Research examining media coverage in the UK, US, France and Germany by international communications specialists Echo Research found that from 2000 to 2001 media coverage dealing with CSR increased by 52% from 377 articles to 573 articles. From 2001 to 2002 the increase was a further 407%. The number of articles published jump to 2,906. (Echo Research. 2003)

Professionally, this rise in awareness of the term CSR has created a new ‘fashion’ in business management. (Jackson, B. 2001. This is namely that of making business policy and strategy decisions and communicating them under the heading of CSR in order to be seen to be one of Lewis’s ‘good’ companies and not be punished by the ‘public’ or an organisation’s stakeholder. (Lewis, S. 2001)

14

This new management fashion has seen most leading public companies include a specific statement on their CSR policy within their annual reports and undertake CSR initiatives and communications programmes. Activities which are being driven and promoted by a host of management ‘Guru’s’ and major consultancies such as global public relations agency, Burson Marstellar.

This growth of professional attention to CSR has been mirrored in a growth in the academic literature on the subject. Here, for example, citation index reviews of three of the UK’s leading online databases show a marked increase in the number of articles dealing with CSR, as demonstrated by figure 1.

Figure 1 – Increase in Academic Literature on CSR in Citation Indexes
1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0
>1980<198 >1985<199 >1990<199 >1995<200 >2000 5 0 5 0 March 2003 Emerald Fulltext Proquest ScienceDirect 286 3 1 203 3 3 518 5 10 1376 10 10 1466 17

Emerald Fulltext Proquest ScienceDirect

(Emerald Fulltext. 2003: Proquest. 2003: ScienceDirect. 2003)

15

While there is some concern that this explosion of literature represents an unstructured management fad, as will be noted in this dissertation, the mainstream academic literature on CSR has evolved in logical and deliberate patterns and given rise to a clearly discernible subject of study.

A subject which, has seen many academics, corporate stakeholders and government calling on large and small corporations to adopt CSR orientated approaches to business, as advocated in the opening quote. (Business in the Community. 2002; Commission of the European Communities. 2002; Commission of the European Communities. 2001; Social Accountability International. 2001; Pryce, V. 2002; CERES. 2002) Proponents of this argue that CSR orientated organisations benefit from a series of tangible and intangible results, when stakeholders are informed of their orientation. (Bergen, J. 2000; Black et al. 2000; Burke, L & Logson, M. 1996; FTSE4GOOD. 2002; Key, S. & Popkin, S. 1998; Knoepfel, I. 2001; McWilliams, A & Siegel, D. 2000) Although currently, as stated in the Commission of the European Communities “Communication from the commission concerning, Corporate Social Responsibility: A business contribution to Sustainable Development”, corporations are yet to be sure of the business case. As a result, major initiatives are underway into illustrating this case by the Commission of the European Communities and the Academy of Business Society. (Commission of the European Communities. 2002; Commission of the European Communities. 2001; Cowe, R. 2002) Corporations have reacted to these calls and this belief in a business case and they are implementing CSR programmes or corporate change to bring about new corporate mindsets. They are also in-turn communicating the results of these programmes. This process of the communication is being carried out though a variety of methods. These include using differing communications vehicles to

16

communicate with the various stakeholders of the organisation. (Esrock, S. & Leichty, B.1998; Lewis, L. & Inermant, J. 1999) However, as demonstrated by the recent release of British American Tobacco’s CSR Report, these methods are not always effective and are sometimes being viewed as purely an exercise in public relations. (Frakental, P. 2001; Williams, H. 2002)

This diversity in methods and what is being communicated, uncertainty of success and notably failed attempts inspired this author to carry-out research to examine the “communication of corporate social responsibility” and attempt to tease out best “practice” for his PhD studies. As a result, for this Master in Research dissertation, the author carried out a pilot research case study testing the methodology he intends to use for his main PhD study while examining the effectiveness of the communication of corporate social responsibility at a major UK retail centre based in the Northwest of England.

To tackle this a set of research aims and objectives were drawn up to focus the research project. 1.1 Research Aims and Objectives

Research Aims The research aims to; 1) Assess the current definition and usage of the term Corporate Social Responsibility. 2) Define, if possible, a novel, generalisable definition of Corporate Social Responsibility in its current temporal context. 3) Develop a research methodology for future study

17

4) Assess the effectiveness of CSR communications at a major UK retail centre based in the NW of England. 5) Explore the tangible and intangible business outcomes generated by corporate social responsibility communication conducted by the major UK retail centre

Research Objectives To accomplish this the research has outlined the following objectives: 1) Develop existing typologies of CSR definitions and models of practice in the literature. 2) Extensively map research models of CSR communications and communications in the wider context found in the literature. 3) Thoroughly map methodological, ontological and epistemological standpoints in the area of research 4) Develop a research methodology to examine and conduct a case study to test the effectiveness of CSR communications at a major UK retail centre. 5) Conduct the pilot study and assess findings. 6) Critique research methodology and propose implications for future study. 1.2 Potential Significance

These aims and objectives aim to contribute significantly to the knowledge on the subject of CSR. “Significance”, the Britannica World Language Dictionary defines as “2. That which is signified or intended to be expressed; meaning. 3. Importance”. (Britannica World Language Dictionary, 1961) The importance of this contribution will be three-fold.

18

Firstly, the work is testing a new novel research methodology for the examination of emerging trends in communications practice. A method that if successful will be used to underpin further research by the author at the PhD level and could be used by other researchers in the area of communications for the examination of new areas of practice such as CSR communications.

Secondly, the second aim of the research is to generate a novel definition of CSR that will strive to overcome the vagueness and ambiguity of the term CSR that Frankental highlights. (Frankental, P. 2001)

Thirdly, the exploratory case study of the major UK retail centre’s CSR communications effectiveness will make a contribution to knowledge through examination of what may or may not be best practice in CSR communications. Although this contribution will not be generalisable or universal, it will be a contribution in line with what Easterby-Smith et al. describe as local knowledge, as in this case contribution and its descriptive nature will be intrinsically linked to context it was generated within. (Easterby-Smith et al. 2002:51)

In order to make such contributions the research project, as outlined in chapter four, will require a literature examination as to what exactly is the concept of CSR and what are the existing models of communications and techniques that could be applied to communicating an organisation’s CSR.

19

CHAPTER 2

LITERATURE REVIEW: CORPORATE

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Corporate social responsibility, as previously mentioned, has recently seen a dramatic growth in literature entries, covering a variety of subjects in recent times as exemplified by figure 1 in the introduction and could be misconstrued to be a fad. CSR, however, is a subject that has evolved in logical and deliberate patterns and given rise to a clearly discernible subject of study.

2.1

A Schools Approach To The Debate

Academic consensus generally equates social responsibility or CSR, in its modern context, to have originated in Howard Bowen’s 1953 text, the ‘Social Responsibilities of the Businessman’. (Warren, R. 2000: 80-81, Balabanis et al. 1998: 25, Whetten et al. 2002:375, Phillips, R. & Claus, S. 2002, Cowe, R. 2002) Bowen advocated that CSR was “industry’s obligation to pursue those policies, to make those decisions, or to follow those lines of actions which are desirable in terms of objectives and values of society”. (Bowen, H. 1953) However, Bowen’s definition of CSR and models of practice, make up only part of what has been described by Carroll and Pinkston as an endless debate as to what exactly are the “duties or responsibilities of business”. (Pinkston, T. & Carroll, A. 1996: 199) This is a view echoed by Frankental, who stated that with CSR’s nearly endless range of definitions and manifestations that it was a “vague and intangible term, which can mean anything to anybody.” (Frankental, P. 2001: 20)

20

In an attempt to bring clarity to this debate and provide typologies for defining CSR and models for its manifestation existing literatures from the fields of management, communications, accounting and corporate social responsibility, amongst other sources were reviewed. Three distinct ‘schools’ of thought that existing definitions and literatures on CSR can be perceived to fit into are discussed. The first two schools, the ‘Bowen’ and ‘Friedman’ schools, are in complete contrast and this contrasting categorisation of the schools’ polarized views of CSR is ever present in the literature. (Hemphil, T. 1997, Carroll, A: 1999, Demosthenous, M: 2001) These schools are founded in the seminal texts of the authors for which they have been named, and it is from these texts that the discussion of the literature and definition of CSR will commence. The third and emergent school of thought, the “Commission of the European Communities” school of thought encompasses literature that moderates the polarisation of the other schools. This school’s name has been taken from the organisation, which recently, in the European context, has been its largest practical proponent. (Commission of the European Communities. 2002) (Commission of the European Communities. 2001) 2.1.1 The Bowen School CSR is “industry’s obligation to pursue those policies, to make those decisions, or to follow those lines of actions which are desirable in terms of objectives and values of society”. (Bowen, H. 1953) This quote effectively summarizes Howard Bowen’s seminal view, espoused in his 1953 text ”Social Responsibilities of the Businessman”, in which he proposed that business, by its existence, had a responsibility to society. Academics believed that this view stemmed from the fact that at the time, and into the 1960s and 1970s, business was perceived to be enjoying unprecedented levels of power while exercising little social responsibility. (Wood, D. 1990: Eberstadt, N. 1997) Operating in what Harvey terms the ‘Fordist’ period of mass consumption, when little attention was paid by the ‘public’ to the actions of corporations. (Harvey, D. 1990) However, the origins of this school of thought, in relation to CSR, appear to have evolved much further back in time. Arthur Page, who joined the American Telecommunications Company AT&T in 1927, as a 21

vice-president, advocated that; “All business in a democratic country begins with the publics permission and exists by public approval.” (Griswold, G. 1967) Although not specifically under the guise of CSR, a precursor to this was the view of the English businessman Oliver Sheldon who in 1923, according to Wren (1979), suggested that managers needed to adopt three societal standpoints:“1). “That the policies, conditions, and methods of industry shall conduce to communal wellbeing”. 2) That “management shall endeavour to interpret the highest moral sanction of the community as a whole in applying social justice to industrial practice;” and (3) that “management take the initiative in raising the general ethical standard and conception of social justice.” (Wren, D.1979: 207) These writings helped form the foundation of what is known as the ‘Bowen School’ of CSR thought. (Davis, K. 1967: Preston & Post. 1975) They introduced into the model and the definition of CSR concepts of businesses’ responsibility to serve society in a pro-active manner. In the case of Page, CSR can be interpreted to be an implied social contract in which business is accountable to society’s expectations or demands. The Bowen School – Levels of Responsibility Sub-School Despite the pioneering work of these authors, it was not until 1979 that Archie Carroll developed what can be considered to be the pre-eminent model and definition of CSR in the Bowen school of thought. (Wood, D. 1990: Eberstadt, n. 1997: Whetten et al. 2002: Phillips, R. & Claus, S. 2002) Carroll, building on the works of Preston & Post (1975), Sethi (1975) amongst others, proposed a conceptual model of CSR based on four categories of social responsibilities, economic, legal, ethical and discretionary. (Carroll, 1979: Sethi, P. 1975: Davis, K. 1967): Economic responsibilities being to produce products and services that society wants and to sell them at a profit. Legal responsibilities refers to an obligation to fulfil not only an implied societal contract, as Page eluded to, but also a formal contract with society, that being to obey the laws and rules applied by the state. Carroll referred to ‘Ethical’ responsibilities as businesses’ obligation to satisfy society’s expectations of business to go beyond basic legal requirements. This was an area of responsibility that Carroll perceived to be increasing in prominence as the demands of society on business increased. The fourth category 22

proposed by Carroll was ‘discretionary’ responsibilities, being those responsibilities that go beyond society’s expectations or requests. Phillips and Claus (2000) refer to Carroll’s categories as a levels approach to CSR, although they combine economic and legal responsibilities into one category. (2002) Across these levels of CSR, Carroll’s model included an examination of the ‘social issues involved’, which at the time he listed as being consumerism, environment, discrimination, product safety, occupational safety and shareholders. The model, which could also serve as a practical evaluation tool for measuring corporate social responsiveness, gauged whether an organisation’s philosophical approach to these issues, across the categories, was taken in a reactionary, defensive, accommodating or proactive manner. (Carroll, A. 1979) With specific respect to CSR, Carroll alluded in his 1979 paper and advocated in later papers that a pro-active approach should be taken in its manifestation. (Carroll, A. 1979: Pinkerston & Carroll. 1996)

23

Figure 2 Carroll’s Model of Corporate Social Responsiveness

Proactive Accommodating Defensive Reactive Discretionary Ethical

Legal

Economic

Consumerism

Environment Discrimination Product Safety

Occupational Shareholders Health & Safety

Carroll’s levels of responsibility model has been built upon and forms the pillar of further additions to the Bowen School of CSR thought. (Lantos, G. 2001) Additionally, research carried out by Pinkerston and Carroll in 1996 and Maignan in 2000 showed the model and its principle levels of responsibilities to still be relevant. (Maignan, I. 2000) This validation aside, Donna Wood in 1991 drawing from Carroll and the Bowen school of CSR presented a modernised view of corporate social performance in which she broke responsibilities into three levels, “Institutional, Organizational and Individual”. (Wood, D. 1991) These are levels at which organisations conduct environmental assessments, issue management and stakeholder management in line with the organisation’s philosophical approach to corporate social responsiveness and demonstrate it with behaviour in the form of social impacts, programs and policies.

24

This levels of corporate social responsibility sub-school of the Bowen school of corporate social responsibility, though prolific, has yet to gain the greatest share of voice in the Bowen School. Academics and professionals view it to be an overly altruistic model, because it’s proponents argued that organisations should aim for Carroll’s discretionary level in their practice of corporate social responsibility. (Lantos, G. 2001) The Bowen School – Stakeholder Approach Sub-School A differing philosophy of corporate social responsibility, which can be perceived to be the dominant manifestation of this school of thought, is the stakeholder approach to corporate social responsibility. (Siegel, D. 2001: Phillips, R. & Claus, S. 2002) This sub-school is premised on Bowen’s core principal of business having a responsibility to society. It takes the view that rather than levels of responsibility existing, through which organizations aim to progress similar to a form of Maslow hierarchy, business has unique responsibilities to its unique stakeholders. (Whetten et al. 2000: Phillips, R. & Claus, S. 2002: Key, S. & Popkin, S. 1998: Boehm, A. 2002) The underpinning of this sub-school was Edward Freeman’s 1984 text “Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach.” (Freeman, E. 1984) Freeman’s model of CSR argued that firms have relationships with numerous stakeholders, all of which, “affect and are affected by the firms actions”. Freeman’s standpoint was in clear opposition to Friedman’s uni-stakeholder model, which will be discussed later. Freeman articulated that the economic system had clearly shifted to a ‘post-Fordist’ period, where the actions of corporations were beginning to be scrutinized by the ‘public’. (Harvey, D. 1990) Freeman’s stakeholders were defined as “any group or individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organisation’s objectives”. (Freeman, E. 1984: p.46) Freeman divided stakeholders into six distinct categories, owners, employees, customers, suppliers, communities and governments, which have varying responsibilities or ‘social contracts’. He, and others authors, then argued that these stakeholders are then addressed by the firm at differing levels depending on organizational objectives. (Freeman, E. 1984: Phillips, R. & Claus, S. 2002: Key, S. & Popkin, S. 1998: Boehm, A. 2002)

25

The stakeholder approach and levels sub-schools of the Bowen School of thought, in their initial manifestations, were concerned with defining the construct of CSR. However, as academic thought progressed with respect to each standpoint, moves to measure and quantify the manifestations and effects of corporate social responsibility in the sub-schools were undertaken. These attempts, as they progressed, created a new construct or paradigm of thought identified as corporate social performance (CSP) The Bowen School – CSP Splinter School CSP, as with CSR, is rooted in the original underpinning philosophy of the Bowen School reviewed previously. However, its controversial differentiation is based on CSP being the outcomes of corporate behaviour. (Carroll, A. 1999) (Phillips, R. & Claus, S. 2002) In this respect, in the CSP literature, CSR is a principle, definition or mindset adopted by an organisation, as opposed to an outcome. CSP as a construct finds it modern origins in Sethi’s, 1975 article, “Dimensions of Corporate Social Performance: An Analytic Framework,” in which the author proposes a three-dimensional model of CSP. (Sethi, P. 1975) His three dimensions include ‘social obligation’, which is the prescriptive dimension. An interpretation of this could be that this dimension is the explicit aspect of CSR’s social contract such as legal and statutory obligations. The remaining dimensions of Sethi’s model, ‘responsiveness’, which he defines as the anticipatory dimension, and ‘preventative’, form the implicit aspects of the social contract. Furthering the work of Sethi and developing a more comprehensive, and functional model of CSP, is Woods three-dimensional model of CSP based on the three aforementioned dimensions of CSR introduced in the discussion of the levels subschool; Institutional, Organisational and Individual. (Wood, D. 1991; Whetten et al. 2000; Carroll, 1991: A) The author also refers to these as; Social Legitimacy (Institutional), Public Responsibility (Organisational), and Managerial Discretion (Individual). Using these three principles of CSR in the CSP context, Wood’s model then sets out the manifestations of CSP across Carroll’s four level of CSR. CSP manifestations, which include quality of product or service of the organisation, economic contribution, 26

approach to legal policies and regulations such as environmental, health and safety and work policies, communication to stakeholders and level of corporate citizenship/philanthropy. Figure 3 Woods Model of CSP
CSR PRINCIPLES Domains Economic Social Legitimacy Produce goods and services, provide jobs, create wealth for shareholders. Obey laws and regulations. Don’t lobby for or expect privileged positions in public policy. Follow fundamental ethical principles. (E.g. honesty in product labelling) Act as a good citizen in all matters beyond law and ethical rules. Return a portion of revenues to the community. Public Responsibility Price goods and services to reflect true production costs by incorporating all externalities. Work for public policies representing enlightened self-interest. Provide full and accurate product information, too enhance user safety beyond legal requirements. Invest the firm’s charitable resources in social problems related to the firm’s primary and secondary involvement society. Managerial Discretion Produce ecologically sound products, use low-polluting technologies, cut costs with recycling. Take advantage of regulatory requirements to innovate in products or technologies. Target product use of information to specific markets. (e.g. children, foreign speakers) and promote as a product advantage. Choose charitable investment that actually pays off in social problem solving. (i.e., apply an effectiveness criterion.)

Legal

Ethical

Discretionary

(Wood 1991: 710)

CSP, Stakeholder and Levels sub-schools form the three predominant, areas of the ‘Bowen School of Thought’ of corporate social responsibility. Despite differences they all agree that CSR is a core business principle and activity that involves multiple stakeholders and can manifest itself at multiple levels across an organisation. At each level the organisation will be asked to meet legal and statutory requirements of society as well as exceeding these requirements to meet society’s implicit demands.

27

2.1.2 Friedman School In contrast to the Bowen School, the Friedman School of thought provides an extremely polarised view of CSR. This polarisation is made evident by the following statement from one of school’s seminal texts; “Few trends could so thoroughly undermine the very foundations of our free society as the acceptance by corporate officials of a social responsibility other than to make as much money as possible for their stockholders.” (Friedman, M. 1962) This view, that the only responsibility of business is to make money for its owners, forms the basis for this ‘Friedman School of CSR Thought’. Although the school has few recent proponents advocating its adoption, it is prolifically debated and referenced in the academic writing on CSR. (Lantos, G. 2001; Warren, R. 2000: 80-81, Balabanis et al. 1998: 25, Whetten et al. 2002:375, Phillips, R. & Claus, S. 2002) Furthermore, and similarly to the Bowen school, the Friedman school can trace its origins back to long before the authoring of the seminal piece for which it has been named. One such example that Wren points to, is that of the 1883 legal case of Hutton v. West Cork Railway in Britain. (Wren, D. 1979: 109) The case dealt with the subject of corporate philanthropy and the court ruled that “that the corporation existed only as a profitmaking enterprise whose purpose was the equitable distribution of its earning to its owners, the stockholders”. (Wren, D. 1979) Within the Friedman school of thought, George Lantos inferred two main sub-schools in his 2001 article, the constrained profit making and the pure profit-making schools. (Lantos, G. 2001) The Friedman School – Constrained Profit Sub-School The constrained profit making view of CSR is that advocated by Milton Friedman himself, in his 1962 text and 1970 article. Friedman argued that business's responsibility is to conduct itself in accordance with the desires of its owners, which, he stated, was generally the generation of profit. (Friedman, M. 1970) Furthermore, that this generation of profit could be done by any legal, honest and ethical manner needed 28

to achieve the objective. Friedman argued that the altruism being advocated by Bowen was the responsibility of government, the social welfare system and individuals. (Friedman, M. 1962; Friedman, M. 1970) While the Friedman stance is the predominant and most referenced view that forms this school of thought, it is not the most recent paradigm presented in the school. As can be seen below, the pure profit sub-school is a much more extreme expression of Friedman’s views.

The Friedman School – Pure Profit Sub-School Working from Friedman’s initial standpoint, Albert Carr in 1968 argued a model of CSR, which advocated that business's responsibility was to generate a profit at any cost. (Carr, A. 1996; Carr, A. 1968) He argued that business operated in an isolated environment, an environment, which Lantos likened to a game of poker. (Lantos. G. 2002) Carr argued that business could operate outside even the minimal amount of moral standard implied by Friedman. This implies a situation in which business should only obey the law and where possible attempt to influence the law for its own desires.

In stark contrast to the Bowen School, these positions give rise to a construct of CSR that is only concerned with addressing the owner(s), as the principal and sole stakeholder. Furthermore, it is a construct, which manifests itself and is evaluated only by the generation of profit. 2.1.3 The Commission of European Communities School This third and most recent school of thought that is emerging in the current literature on CSR provides a moderating view of the two previous schools. (Commission of the European Communities 2001; Commission of the European Communities 2002; Balabanis et al. 1998; Burke, L & Logson, M. 1996; Key, S & Popkin, S. 1998; Murray,

29

K. & Vogel, M. 1997; Bennett, R. 1997) This school argues that CSR, as reflected in the ‘Bowen School of Thought’s’ philosophy, can generate increased profit as argued as the sole purpose of business in the ‘Friedman School of Thought’. Key and Popkin simply phrased it as “doing well by doing good”. (1998) Key and Popkin (1998) and Burke and Logsdon (1996) advocate that this is accomplished by reorienting CSR, from achieving an altruistic level or stakeholder relationship, to a strategic function in which the levels or relationships selected are tied to individual organisational goals. In general, their goals involve increasing profit or strengthening intangible assets such as reputation or brands. (Burke, L & Logson, M. 1996; Key, S & Popkin, S. 1998) (Fombrum, C. & Gardberg, N. 2000) Though numerous academics advocate this standpoint, and professionally its’ supposition is well supported, the assumed links have yet to be proven. Research published by the Commission of the European Communities (CEC) in 2002 stated, “that solid evidence that supports competitiveness and sustainable development would be the best and most effective argument to encourage uptake of CSR.”(2002). This would indicate that a functional conceptualisation of CSR would include CSR being a measurable business construct. This third school of thought, linking the two other predominant schools of thought, states that CSR strategically used with ‘stakeholders’ at all ‘levels’ can generate, ideally, a measurable increase in ‘profit’ or achievement of organisational objectives. Therefore, more appropriately this amalgamation could be referred to as ‘Neo-Friedman School of Thought for CSR. 2.2 Summary: The Neo-Friedman School of Thought If one accepts the moderating view incorporating elements of the Bowen and Friedman Schools of thought, then it can be proposed that corporate social responsibility be defined in the ‘Neo-Friedman School’ as; CSR is; Corporations’ being held accountable by explicit or inferred social contract with internal and external stakeholders, obeying the laws and regulations of 30

government and operating in an ethical manner which exceeds statutory requirements. This “ethical manner” is placed at the core of the entity’s strategy, exemplified by proactive community involvement, philanthropy, corporate governance, corporate citizenship, addressing of social issues, a commitment to the quality of its products and services, human rights, health, safety and the environment and its staff. An accountability, which its strategy, aims, principles and manifestations are measurable and audited, the results of which are communicated to the corporation’s audiences (stakeholders). While all the time this accountability should ensure a continual emphasis on generating growth, revenue and profit for the corporate entity and its shareholders/owners, facilitating this process either directly or through positive effects on the entity’s intangible assets, such as brands and reputation. This definition is derived from Page’s view of a social contract, incorporates Carroll’s levels of CSR with Wood’s manifestations of corporate social performance across Freeman’s stakeholders, with Friedman profit generation model and the perceived potential benefits of CSR advocated by the ‘CEC School’. Furthermore, incorporated into the definition are the manifestations of corporate governance and addressing social issues drawn from a review of 2001 financial year corporate reporting of CSR activities in 31 ‘Financial Times Top 100 Index’ companies. (Appendix F) The synthesised definition derived from the literature of CSR will be utilised further on in this paper to assist in the examination of the aims and objectives of the research project as outlined in Chapter one. The definition will be coupled with the findings of the literature review of communications theory, models and techniques in the following chapter.

31

CHAPTER 3

COMMUNICATIONS (PUBLIC RELATIONS)

In examining the concept of CSR and the schools of CSR thought, chapter 2 provides part of the framework essential for examining the research aims. However, prior to investigating the topic of research, a review of communications literature, its development, theory, models and techniques and its relation to CSR is required. Communications within “corporate organisations” occurs predominantly though marketing, public relations or advertising departments or functions. (Harrison, S. 1995; Hunt, T. & Grunig, J. 1994; Stone, N. 1995) These three areas of practice possess such a vast amount of academic literature that a reflective and detailed examination would be unachievable within the context of this dissertation. Therefore for the purpose of this paper, communications literature reviewed will be drawn primarily from texts dealing with public relations. The rationale for this is not only a case of manageability, but also a much more theoretically relevant one. Public relations deals with a diverse group of ‘publics’ or stakeholders, while marketing, which some authors view advertising to be part of, deals principally with “markets”/the consumer. (Hunt, J. and Grunig, J. 1994) Therefore, public relations is more congruent with the view of CSR proposed in the Neo-Friedman school, as well as Freeman’s stakeholder model. 3.1 Historical Perspective What is Public Relations? Public Relations, like most management practices, is characterised by numerous definitions. However, a few are clearly seminal as demonstrated by their predominance in the literature. In Warnaby and Moss’s 1997 text reference is made to Harlow’s 1976 study examining the term public relations where in a study of five hundred definitions he found that they shared many commonalties. (Harlow, R. 1976) They can be summarised into a single definition which sees PR being “concerned with establishing and maintaining mutual

32

understanding between organisations and their publics, serves as an intelligent function, analyzing and interpreting trends and issues in the environment that may have potential consequences for an organisation and its stakeholders, is concerned with assisting organisations to both formulate and achieve socially acceptable goals and is a communications function, where there is an emphasis on the two-way communications.” (Warnaby, G. & Moss, D. 1997:8) More recently the American academics, Grunig & Hunt in their 1984 text “Managing Public Relations” suggest that public relations is defined as the “The management of communications between an organisation and its publics.” Whilst in the United Kingdom, the Institute of Public Relations (IPR) in a 1987 definition stated that: “Public Relations is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organisation and its publics.” (Taken from Harrison, S. 1995:2) The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) proposed in it’s definition that: “Public relations helps an organisation and its publics to adapt mutually to each other. Public relations is an organisation’s effort to win the co-operation of groups of people. Public relations helps organisations effectively interact and communicate with their key publics.” (Taken from White, J. 1991:3) These definitions paint a picture of public relations being currently defined as a communications management function that aims to build understanding through honest communications between an organisation and its stakeholders in order allow an organisation to gain the necessary co-operation, whatever that may be, to achieve its goals or desired outcomes. However, this approach to the practice of public relations however is not a new phenomenon.

How Has Public Relations Evolved? Communications or public relations have been practiced for centuries with organisations finding ways of “relating to their publics”. (Clark, R. 2000) For evidence of this

33

Harrison states that “Charles Dickens refers to a magazine edited by cotton workers in New England (United States) in the late 1840’s” as well as the “Lever Brothers and the Manchester Co-operative Society in England published an employee journal over a hundred years ago.” (Harrison, S. 1995:13) Within the American context, Grunig and Hunt provide a historical framework for the development of public relations, which they categorise in five stages. (Grunig, J. & Hunt, T. 1984)

Figure 4: Grunig and Hunt’s Five Stages of the Development of Public Relations
The public be fooled (1830’s - Now) Public Relations using press agentry, open deceit and showmanship to trick stakeholders into helping to achieve an orgs. goals. (1-way communication)

The public be damned (1850’s - Now) Organisations doing what they want and communicating with stakeholders how ‘it was going to be’ if they communicated at all. (1-way communication)

Public Information (Late 19th Century- Now) Organisations informing their stakeholders truthfully in a controlled manner in order to achieve organisational goals. (1-way communication)

Propaganda and persuasion (1920’s – Now) Organisations using one and two way means of communication to intellectually and emotionally persuade stakeholders to help an organisation achieve its goals.

Public understanding (Current) Organisations building understanding through honest communications between it and its stakeholders in order allow an organisation to gain the necessary co-operation to achieve its goals. (Developed from: Grunig, J. & Hunt, T. 1984 with dates and Explanations extrapolated from Harrison, S. 1995)

34

These evolutionary stages of PR see public relations share some resemblance to the different schools of CSR thought. “The Public be Fooled” and “Propaganda and Persuasion,” characterised by “press agentry” and overt public deception in communications to achieve ‘corporate’ or business objectives, share similarities with the “Constrained Profit” sub-school of the Friedman School of Thought. (Grunig, J. & Hunt, T. 1984) ‘The Public Be Damned,’ with its view that the public could be ignored and not communicated to or with, shares great similarities with the ‘Pure-Profit’ subschools of the Friedman School of CSR thought. The “Public Information” and “Public Understanding” phases, with their characteristics of open honest communications and listening to the desires of stakeholders in order to achieve their goals, bares great semblance to the Neo-Friedman school of thought. Both in terms of rationale and also in fact, the current definition of public relations sitting in the “Public Understanding” phase and the Neo-Friedman viewpoint of CSR are both current manifestations of thinking in their respective areas. In parallel with the evolution of the concept of public relations, a rich body of theory and models of communications has developed. 3.2 Communications Theory and Models Communications theories and models that deal with the types of communications, planning of communication activities, and communication with stakeholders are reviewed in the following section. This researcher believes that a theoretical understanding will be essential in examining the aims of this research, specifically aims four and five. Models of Communications Shannon and Weaver’s seminal model of communications provides an effective starting point for examining models of communications and the communication’s process. (Shannon, C. & Weaver, W. 1948) Although it could be perceived to be overly simplistic in comparison to other models, including those that will be proposed later on in this section, the model in Figure 5 below highlights several key learning points. 35

Figure 5: Shannon and Weaver’s Model of Communication

Noise

Noise

Noise

Noise

Noise

Receiver

Encoding

Medium message

Shannon and Weaver’s model illustrates that at its essence communications is a process during which one party, the sender, determines what it wants to communicate, the “message” encodes it in some verbal, visual or textual way such as written English and communicates it via a desired technique or medium. (Harrison, S. 1995; Stone, N. 1995, Hunt, T. & Grunig, J. 1994) The receiver then decodes or interprets what is communicated according to their specific thought processes and knowledge and may then feedback to the sender, creating a two-way communication process, rather than a one-way process. Throughout this whole process, Shannon and Weaver indicate that the process may be affected by noise or Kotler’s barriers to communications, which they define as any interference which may result in a distortion of the message which the sender aimed to communicate, that effective communication must overcome. In respect to noise, Harrison points to Berstein’s three forms of noise; (Harrison, S. 1995: 31) outlined in Figure 6.

Sender

Decoding

Noise

Feedback

(Shannon, C. & Weaver, W. 1948)

36

Figure 6: Types of Noise
Types of Noise Channel Noise Physiological Noise Characteristics Physical Interference, such as background sounds, not enough light, physical distractions Underlying elements in the relationship between the sender and receiver that cause misinterpretation, manifested in things such as body language. Language Noise Is noise resulting from a mis-match in code between the sender and receiver. This could be different languages, slang or terminology (Extrapolated from Harrison, S. 1995)

As well as eight barriers to communications which include the sender and receiver’s “fields of experience, value judgements, mismatching” of medium choice/appropriateness, “language problems, selectivity” of the receivers attention, distortion and recall, status differences, time constraints and overload’ of information. (Harrison, S. 1995: 33) Although not specific to public relations, the aforementioned model highlights several key theoretical concepts to be aware of with regards to communications. Within the context of public relations, Grunig and Hunt’s four models of communications is by far the most influential work for examining public relations communications. Grunig and Hunt outline two one-way models of communications, “Press Agentry and Public Information” and two two-way models, “Two-way Asymmetrical and Two-way Symmetrical”. For each they define the purpose of the communication, the form of communication incorporating Shannon and Weaver is source receiver model and the use of research. (Grunig, J. & Hunt, T. 1984) From the literature we see that the use of research can occur prior to the development of message and post the communication of message to evaluate effectiveness.

37

Figure 7: Grunig and Hunt’s Models of Public Relations
Press Agentry Purpose Form of Communications Communication Model Use of Research Propaganda One-way; Truth not essential Source – Receiver Public Information Dissemination of information One-way; Truth essential Source – Receiver Two-way Asymmetrical Scientific persuasion Two-way with imbalanced effects Source – Receiver with feedback Formative research and attitude evaluation post Two-way Symmetrical Mutual understanding Two-way with balanced effects Group – Group (Source – Receiver with dialogue) Formative research and evaluation of understanding post

Little If Any

Little of readership post

(Grunig, J. & Hunt, T. 1984) These models have been extrapolated from Grunig and Hunt’s five phases of public relations. They introduce into the review of communications models that all communication has a purpose and that varying models exist which relate to the purpose, and that research may be undertaken to determine what to communicate and how effective the communication was. Like the phases of public relations, these models of communication, have some similarities to the schools of CSR, with the purpose of the two-way symmetrical model sharing commonalties with the Bowen School of thought in purpose. Like Bowen, Grunig and Grunig argued that public relations should aim to be practiced in the most ethical and effective way. (Grunig, J. & Grunig, L. 1992) This model of communication aims to create a balanced effect for both the sender and receiver. The two-way asymmetrical model, which Grunig and Grunig refer to as the normative theory of public relations communications, can be seen to be relevant to the NeoFriedman school of thought. Here communication seeks to primarily assist in the achievement of organisational goals, using two-way channels to persuade others to do what is needed to achieve the desired organisational result. In order to execute the chosen model of communications, Moss presents a framework for planning and evaluating public relations programmes. (Moss, D. 2002)

38

Planning Communications Programmes Moss’s framework is congruent with those proposed by many notable authors in the area of public relations. (Stone, N. 1995, Harrison, S. 1995 and Hunt, T. & Grunig, J. 1994) Figure 8: Planning Public Relations Campaigns
Corporate Mission, Objectives & Strategy Market Analysis Market Position

Identify Comm. Issues and Key Role for Communications Define the Communication Objectives Identify and Prioritise Key Target Audiences Develop the Message Strategy Prepare the Budget Implement Plan and Evaluate Programme

If Costs Unacceptable Revise Plan

Moss presents a framework where communications or public relations activities arise out of the organisation mission, strategy and objectives coupled with an analysis of their market and position. This allows determination of the role communications can have in achieving the strategy and objectives of the organisation. Specific communication allows prioritising which target audiences, or as Freeman refers to them, stakeholders, to communicate with in order to achieve the objectives. (Freeman, E. 1984) Developing key messages and determining which techniques will best communicate them to the stakeholders follows Moss’s model which incorporates a costing element, where the cost to benefit ratio of communications is assessed before programmes are undertaken and evaluated.

39

Stakeholder Theory In determining which stakeholders to communicate with, it is first essential to have a firm grasp of what and who a stakeholder is. As aforementioned in the ‘Stakeholder Approach Sub-school’ from the discussion of CSR schools of thought, Freeman defined stakeholders as “any group of individual who can affect or is affected by the achievement of the organisation’s objectives.” A definition, which implies that any one can be a stakeholder of any organisation, a statement, which is not contradicted by other literature on the subject. Authors such as Charkham have categorised stakeholders into broad groups. (Charkham, J. 1992; Clarke, T. 1997) Charkham broke stakeholders into “contractual stakeholders” as those who have some form of legal relationship with the firm and “community stakeholders” as those whose relationship with the firm is more diffuse but nonetheless real in terms of its impact. (Charkham, J. 1992) (Figure 9 below) Figure 9: Generic Types of Stakeholders
Contractual Stakeholders Shareholders Employees Customers Distributors Suppliers Lenders Community Stakeholder Consumers Regulators Government Pressure Groups (Special Interest Groups) The Media Local Communities

(Charkham, J. 1992) Though not broken down into broad groups Stone provides a more comprehensive list of stakeholders. (Stone, N. 1995) (Figure 10) Figure 10: Stone’s List of Stakeholders
• • • • • • • • Academics Accountants Advisers Agents Analysts Auditors Backers Bankers • • • • Board of Directors The Boss Business Clubs Business Schools • • • • • • Chambers of Commerce Charities Commentators Committees Community Groups Competitors • • • • • • • Complainers Consultants Consumerists Consumers Contractors Credit-Rating Agencies Customers

40

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Debenture Holders Decision Making Units Directors of Associated Companies Educators Employees Employers’ Organisations Environmental ists Ethnic Minorities Experts Families of Employees Finance Providers Financial Journalists

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Front-ofHouse Staff Fundraisers Government Officials ‘Greens’ Householders Industry Organisations Investors Job Seekers Legislators Lenders Lobbyists Local Community Managers Marketing Department Media Motorists Neighbours

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Overseas Visitors Owners Politicians Predators Pressure Groups Price Control Bodies Professional Institutes Protectionists Regulatory Bodies Retailers Retired People Salesforce Schoolchildren Shippers Shopfloor Workers Specifiers Sponsees

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Sponsors Statisticians Statutory Bodies Stockbrokers Sub-contactors Subscribers Suppliers Tax Authorities Tax Payers Trade Associations Trade Unions Translators Visitors Voters Wholesalers X-Group (previous stakeholders)\ Etc..

(Stone, N. 1995: 20) Stone’s extensive list exemplifies the vastness of stakeholders that an organisation has, as well as that divergent nomenclature which may exist for defining them. Stone refers to “front of house staff” and one would expect him to therefore refer to ‘back of house staff’ a common description used, however he refers to ‘shopfloor workers’. Furthermore, with this vast amount of stakeholders, it is plausible to perceive that it would be impossible to communicate with them all, especially when using Moss’s, cost benefit element of the planning model. To assist with determining the importance and necessity for communicating with a stakeholder, Mitchell developed a model for assessing the ‘importance’ of a stakeholder using an eight-fold typology that evaluates the power, legitimacy and urgency stakeholders possess in relation to an organisation. (Mitchell, R et al. 1997) Those stakeholders who have significance in relation to all three categories are deemed ‘definitive stakeholders’ and command significant attention, while those with two are ‘expectant stakeholders’ and are important and those with one are ‘latent stakeholders’ and less important, and those with none are not actually stakeholders of an organisation. (Mitchell, R. et al. 1997)

41

Figure 11: Stakeholder Classes

POWER

Dormant stakeholder

Dominant stakeholder

Discretionary stakeholder

LEGITIMACY

Definitive stakeholder Dangerous Dependent stakeholder stakeholder Non-stakeholder Demanding stakeholder

URGENCY

(Devised from Mitchell, R. 1997) Mitchell’s model, if used properly, serves as an effective tool by which to determine which stakeholders to communicate with. In respect to how to communicate, a review of the literature has revealed an equally large selection of techniques available. 3.3 Communications Techniques A review of Harrison’s and Grunig and Hunt’s texts draws out a list of numerous and varying techniques, which include: (Harrison, S. 1995; Hunt, T. & Grunig, J. 1994) Figure 12: PR Techniques
Annual Reports Community Relations Conferences Corporate Advertising Current Technology Direct Mail Displays Email Equipment Donations Exhibitions Feature Stories Grants Hotlines House Journals and Magazines Index of Services Individual Briefings Internet Investor Relations Launches Letters Media Relations Memos Minutes News Releases Newsletters Notice Boards Open Days Oral Communications Pay Inserts Press Kits Profit Report Radio Social Policy Sponsorship Staff Annual Reports Staff Communications Staff Groups Staff Induction Pack Staff Meetings Staff Secondments Suggestion Schemes Tele-conferencing Television Training Projects Training Updates and Calendar Video Bulletins Video-conferencing Visitor Centre Walking the Job Written Communications

(Harrison, S. 1995; Hunt, T. & Grunig, J. 1994)

42

These varying techniques can be broken into the over-arching groups of practice of media relations, corporate and financial relations, government relations, employee relations, community relations and consumer relations, which are believed to be the most effective for communication with their relevant stakeholders and alleviating noise. (Stone, N. 1995) These headings are similar to the overarching themes in the NeoFriedman school of CSR thought, and therefore present the opportunity that a wide range of these techniques could possibly be used in the communications of CSR. 3.4 Current Communication of CSR Currently, the literature of communications of CSR focuses predominantly on only a limited spectrum of techniques in the reporting of CSR. It appears, from this author’s literature review, that little attention has been paid to this area of CSR. Also on the communications research literature there are very few articles on CSR, which explicitly deal with communications techniques. Guthrie and Parker point to “Annual Reports” as being the primary method by which CSR is currently being communicated by organisations. (Guthrie, J. & Parker, L. 1990) They point to organisations communicating about their CSR activities in terms of the themes of “Environment, Energy, Human Resources, products and Community Involvement amongst others”. (Guthrie, J. & Parker, L. 1990) However, if one accepts the seminal public relations author Edward Bernay’s comment in Grunig and Hunt that “public relations is the practice of social responsibility” then all communications carried out are CSR communications. (Grunig, J. & Hunt, T. 1984:48) However, even with the similarities between CSR and public relations, the organisational/operational implications of CSR make this statement’s relevance doubtful. A desk review of company materials has highlighted that CSR communications can also be found in specific CSR reports, consumer brochures and Internet sites amongst others dealing with all the varying themes found in the definition of CSR presented in the NeoFriedman school of thought in chapter two.

43

Figure 13: Examples of CSR Communications

(CSR Annual Report and Internet Site: Starbucks 2002) 3.5 Summary The previous review of public relations literature provides us with a framework that will later be utilised for evaluating aims four and five of the research. It highlights that communications can occur in several ways, and that effective communications is planned and has objectives that relate to those of the organisation as a whole. It also introduces that communications involve accurate stakeholder selection and can utilise varying techniques. What techniques are used and most effective for the communications it leaves as a question to be answered. Furthermore, it introduces that communications effectiveness should be tested through measurement and planning.

44

CHAPTER 4

RESEARCH METHODOGY

“Research, depending on your viewpoint at the time, may be described as some combination of: • • • • • • • • • A quest for knowledge and understanding An interesting, and perhaps, useful experience A course for qualification A career A style of life An essential process for commercial success A way to improve human quality of life An ego boost for you A justification for funds for your department and its continued existance” (Greenfield, T. 1996:3)

4.1 Purpose of the Research This research possesses facets of all of Greenfield’s purposes of research, baring the last. The research has and does play an integral part in the completion of the Mres qualification that is essential to enable the researcher to carry-on with the PhD course being pursued.

It has been a quest for knowledge, and interesting experience that has and will continue to be an integral part of the researcher’s lifestyle. The process will hopefully open up new career paths and “commercial” success for the researcher.

Furthermore, it is hoped that this research has been a useful experience as a result of the exploration of the research question and the aims and objectives of this research as outlined in chapter one. Making a contribution to human life, because this research document provides the reader with insight from the review of the literature and the research findings and conclusions provide him with new knowledge and understanding.

45

In order to achieve these broad research goals a project was undertaken as outlined later in this chapter. It was designed to address the aims of the research and account for the researcher’s stances as to how knowledge is produced, ontology, epistemology and ethics.

The following section examines existing research paradigms, and outlines those stances that the author used to focus his research by starting with the approach to knowledge selected.

4.2 Research Paradigms

Approach To Knowledge Production Knowledge like all things of human creation is produced. In the academic sense in management or business research, which this research and its subject dealing with the corporate world is part of, leading research methodology texts state that it is created utilising various methods, ontologies and epistemologies. (Crotty, M. 1998; EasterbySmith et al. 2002; Foucault, M. 1972 Greenfield, T. 1996; Popper, K. 1972; Remenyi et al. 1998) However, with all the variety of choice in respect to the aforementioned, these texts suggest that most knowledge is produced in one traditional manner. Gibbons et al. refer to this as “mode one knowledge production”. (Gibbons et al. 1994) “Mode one research” is viewed as a “traditional mode of research.” It was born out of the Carnegie and Ford reports of the post-war era in the US. A mode characterised by “ a series of 1960’s journals whose aim was to cater for knowledge producers rather than lay practitioners and represent the growth of reputational systems of work organisation and control in management studies”, and has been predominant in management research for the last forty years. (Whitley, R. 1984: 334) Mode one research is largely academic, conducted mainly within academic institutions on subjects specific to the individual disciplinary fields in which the academic researcher(s) expertise lies in a manner which is perceived to be as objectively detached 46

from the subject as possible. Its aim is to contribute primarily to academic knowledge and understanding and for this knowledge to then, over time, seep into application thorough practitioner interpretation. However, recently a differing view of knowledge production, proposed by Gibbons has started to gain wide acceptance from the academic community, termed mode 2. (Gibbons et al. 1994; Starkey, K. & Madan, P. 2001, Hodgkinson et al 2001, Huff, A. & Huff, J. 2001, Starkey, K. 2001, Tranfield, D. 2002a, Tranfield, D. 2002b, Tranfield, D. & Starkey, K. 1998) “Mode 2 research is not a replacement for mode 1 research only an alternative and differing paradigm for conducting research in management, born-out of a perceived need for management research to be of relevance to a wider group of stakeholders.” Prof. David Tranfield speaking at BAM ‘Doing Mode 2 Research’ Mode two research is viewed as a response to calls in the last twenty years from the non-academic communities (corporations, government and sources of academic research funding) for management research to be conducted in a manner whose results would bare more relevance to those communities. This research is conducted and presented in the environment of application, by a mix of academics and practitioners from a multitude of disciplines, all of which impact upon and are impacted by what may be an ever-changing and evolving research process. Gibbens contrast the two by stating: “Mode 1 problems are set and solved in a context governed by the, largely academic, interests of a specific community. By contrast Mode 2 is carried out in the context of application. Mode 1 is disciplinary while Mode 2 transdisciplinary. Mode 1 is characterised by homogeneity, Mode 2 is heterogeneity. Organisationally, Mode 1 is hierarchical and tends to preserve its form while Mode 2 is more heterarchical and transient. In comparison with Mode 1, Mode 2 is socially accountable and reflexive”. (Gibbons et al. 1994: 3) This represented in the table below. (Figure 14)

47

Figure 14: Mode 1 and 2 Research Defined (Characteristics)
Mode 1 • • • • • Problems set and solved by academic community Disciplinary staff base Institutionalised research org – sites usually in universities Hierarchical – elite academic gatekeepers Dissemination downstream from production • • • • • application Transdisciplinary staff base Variety of knowledge production – collaborative consortia Heterarchical – collaborative and transient Dissemination tightly coupled to production Gibbons et al (1994) Mode 2 Problems set and solved in context of

Although it could be perceived that these two modes of knowledge production are polarised one from the other. Tranfield and Starkey, in the figure below illustrate the relationship between the two. (Tranfield, D & Starkey, K. 1998) Figure 15: Tranfield and Starkey’s ‘Dual Approach to the Production of Knowledge’

!
Danger
Epistemic
Practice-led research (Back-fitting)

‘TOP’

World of practice (Is knowledge of use?)

Theory-led research (Trickle-up)

Danger
Stocks of management knowledge (is knowledge well founded?)

‘BOTTOM’

!
Tranfield, D. & Starkey, K. 1998

Tranfield and Starkey state that all knowledge is produced along this circular pattern and the difference between mode one and two is where the researcher spends the

48

principle amount of their time. In the case of mode one the researcher spends the majority of their time at the bottom of the figure, going to the top to occasionally disseminate knowledge. Whereas, a mode two researcher spends the principle amount of their time at the top of the figure going to the bottom of the graph to collect theory to impact on the research and deposit new theory/knowledge. For the purpose of the research documented in this paper, the researcher adopted the mode two perspective as it was believed that it had characteristics congruent with his own proposed Ph.D. and Mres studies. A member of the professional corporate community brought both the subject area and topic for investigation to the researcher’s attention This member was unsure what exactly Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is and how to best communicate the organisational manifestations and achievements, with respect to those activities and programmes being conducted by the organisation in the name of CSR. These activities were costing the organisation over ₤20 million per annum. As a result, this researcher was prompted to investigate a subject area of which he had limited knowledge (CSR), with assistance from other academics and practitioners. A collaboration was undertaken in order to develop the framework for investigating the problem and answering the initial research question which was “What is best practice in the communication of corporate social responsibility with individual stakeholder groups in relation to business outcomes/objectives?” This was later refined while developing the aims of the project. The collaborative nature of the research methodology and learning process, and the transdisciplinary base of input, in terms of both literature (existing theory on CSR) and participants, further demonstrates congruence with the characteristics of Gibbons’ definition of mode two research. Upon establishing the mode of knowledge production to be used, the researcher then examined the ontological and epistemological stance to be taken forward.

49

Ontological Stance

Ontologies deal with the “assumptions that we make about the nature of reality”, what is fact and truth. (Easterby Smith et al. 2002) A review of the literature reveals wide and diverse categorisations and nomenclatures of differing ontological stances. (Crotty, M. 1998; Easterby-Smith et al. 2002; Foucault, M. 1972 Greenfield, T. 1996; Popper, K. 1972; Remenyi et al. 1998) Easterby-Smith et al propose a framework of three predominant ontologies that are as follows: representationalism (objectivism), relativism (idealism) and nominalism. (Easterby Smith et al. 2002:p33) The relevance of these ontologies is discussed and supported in the other texts referenced above. Figure 16 illustrates the characteristic traits of these ontologies with respect to what is ‘truth’ and ‘fact’, as well as what is the corresponding epistemological stance for each ontology. The Oxford Dictionary defines “facts” as “things that are known to have occurred, to exist or to be true.” (Oxford et al. 1996:518) Flew adds that a fact is an assertion that is not underpinned by moral distinction, as to its approval or disapproval. (Flew, A. 1979: 110) Truth, or what is true is defined as something which “accurately conforms to” or is “in accordance with fact and reality.” (Oxford et al. 1996:1640) Figure 16: Ontologies of Social Science
Ontology of Social Science Representationalism Truth Is established by correspondence between observation and phenomena. Relativism Nominalism Is determined through verification of predictions. Depends on who establishes. Depend on viewpoint of observer. Are all human creations Social Constructionism (Modification of chart in Easterby Smith et al. 2002:33) Relativism Facts Are Concrete, but cannot be accessed directly. Epistemology of Social Science Positivism

Based on these categorisations, the researcher, due to the mode two nature adopted and the collaborative approach he aimed to undertake, adopted a nominalist outlook. This 50

outlook would later impact the selection of methods used in the research in order to construct knowledge as there were no predictions to test or directly observable phenomena existed.

Epistemological Stance As a result of the ontological stance adopted, Easterby Smith et al. indicated that in general a ‘social constructionist’ epistemology would be undertaken for the research project. Epistemologies; are the “general sets of assumptions about the best ways of inquiring into the nature of the world.” (Easterby Smith et al. 2002) Prior to accepting this view, a review of epistemological stances in the management and social science literature body was carried out. The review also aimed to ascertain what the methodological implications of a social constructionist stance would be. The epistemological standpoints of positivism, relativism, and social constuctionism were drawn out and contrasted, as the three were found to be the most prominent in the literature. (Crotty, M. 1998; Easterby-Smith et al. 2002; Foucault, M. 1972; Popper, K. 1972; Remenyi et al. 1998) Following which it was determined that Easterby-Smith et al. assumption was correct, as the other epistemologies would not be congruent with the chosen ontology. Figures 17 and 18 illustrate the main characteristics of these epistemological stances with respect to methodological implications.

51

Figure 17: Characteristics of positivism, relativism and social constructionism
Positivism The Observer Must be independent Relativism Aims to remain objective while being in a close proximity to what is being observed Human Interest Should be irrelevant Is acknowledged as impact upon science but aims not to be driven by it Explanations Must demonstrate causality Aims to explain the reality of the phenomena being studied 7Research Progress Through Concepts Units of Analysis Hypotheses and deductions Need to be operationalised so they can be measured Should be reduced to simplest terms Mixture of hypotheses and deduction and induction Need to have high degree of probability Aims to be reduced in simplest terms, however often includes layers of complexity Generalization Through Sampling Requires Statistical probability Large numbers selected randomly Explanation Varies Theoretical abstractions Small Numbers of cases chosen for specific reasons Developed from Easterby Smith et al. 2002:30 & Crotty, M. 1998 Aim to increase general understanding of the situation Gathering of rich data from which ideas are induced Should incorporate stakeholder perspectives May include the complexity of ‘whole’ situations Are the main drivers of science Social Constructionism Is part of what is being observed

Figure 18: Methodological Implications of different epistemologies within Social Science
Elements of Methods Aims Starting Points Designs Techniques Analysis/Interpretation Outcomes Positivism Discovery Hypotheses Experiment Measurement Verification/Falsification Causality Relativism Exposure Suppositions Triangulation Survey Probability Correlation Social Constructionism Invention Meanings Reflexivity Conversation Sense-making Understanding *Easterby Smith et al. 2002.24

Therefore, the research methodology below was carried out following a mode two knowledge production format, taking a nominalist ontological stance, and following a social constructionist epistemology, drawing on methods congruent with this outlook.

52

In addition to this, the research carried out was impacted by an additional paradigm, that being ethical stance.

Ethical Stance Following the initial review of the CSR literature it was evident that ethics and morals were re-occurring themes, themes which this researcher believed to be intrinsically linked to the subject and caused him to realise that he would need to account for this stance and the implications it might have.

The literature on ethics differentiates between two areas of ethical debates and thought; normative (applied) ethics and meta-ethics. (Benn, P. 1998; Solomon, R. 1993; Singer, A. 1993: Lewis & Unermant 1999) Normative ethics is defined as the branch of ethics that deals with the determination of when a behaviour of an entity is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ and how the entity should behave in a specific situation. (Singer, A. 1993) Meta-ethics, in contrast, deals with what do the terms right and wrong mean, rather than what is acceptable under the terms. In both of these areas of ethical debate and examination there is a common view that the terms right and wrong and their application are variable both temporally and socially. With respect to CSR, the Neo-Friedman definition of CSR proposed appears to deal primarily with meta-ethics, as it is principally linked to what society perceives to be right and wrong. However, normative ethics do also come into play, as CSR is often evaluated by whether or not an organisation’s behaviour reflects an acceptable viewpoint.

If the researcher had tried to account for any particular ethical stance, the literature revealed that a multitude of ethical implications would exist Therefore the researcher

53

attempted to carry-out the research from a relativist ethical standpoint, where he tried not to allow his own ethical bias/viewpoints to impact upon the research. (Benn, P. 1998; Lewis & Unermant 1999)

4.3 Outcome of the Research Adopting these research stances outlined above, the researcher conducted the following research methodology to test the aims of the research outlined in chapter one. (The findings can be found in the following chapter.)

4.4 Validity and Reliability

Two-Phase Research Methodology Utilising the stances outlined above, the research was carried out utilising a two-phase data collection methodology. The first phase was undertaken and conducted firmly adhering to, the researcher’s chosen stances. This phase was characterised by qualitative, exploratory methods of research, which saw the researcher and subjects “construct” knowledge together. In contrast, the second phase was more congruent with a mode one research in respect to methods and approach, and utilised a positivistic approach and quantitative methods. The purpose of which was not to lead away from the stances of the researcher, but to utilise “methodological triangulation” in order to test the validity of the data collected in the first phase of research and ensure its reliability. (Easterby-Smith et al. 2002:146; Greenfield, T. 1996:9)

54

4.5 Methods of Data Collection and Analysis

Methodology is defined as “combinations of techniques (or methods) used to enquire into a specific situation.” (Easterby-Smith et a.2002:31) [Methods is defined as “individual techniques for data collection, analysis, etc.”]

The research project commenced with the literature review undertaken in chapter two and three. The literature review was undertaken in order to establish the basis necessary to carry-out the investigation and address aims one and two of the research. (Easterbysmith et al. 2002) With respect to these two aims, chapter two outlines the use of the term “ corporate social responsibility” in the reviewed literature and proposes at its conclusion a temporally current definition.

From this point the research is undertaken using a case-study approach that incorporates the two-phase data collection methodology. The case study approach method was chosen as it is “a research strategy, which focuses on understanding the dynamics present within single settings”. (Eisenhardt, K. 1989: 534) Therefore, it enables the research to investigate aims four and five by conducting the study of the NW retail centre. Furthermore, should it be concluded that the methodology utilised be proven effective in relation to aim three of the research, it will enable the researcher in his PhD research to create ‘generaliseable theory’. (Yin, R. 1994)

55

Phase 1 Phase one of the research saw a series of five “cognitive mapping” interviews undertaken with five senior managers from the NW retail centre. (Ackermann, F. et al. 1990). Interviews were undertaken with the HR Manager, Marketing Manager, Public Affairs Manager (Community Liaison Officer), Public Relations Manager and Centre Manager in order to provide a transdisciplinary group for the co-operative mode two research. The purpose of this was to explore what the retail centre’s management perceived to be CSR, what activities they were undertaking in the fulfilment of CSR, how they were communicating it and what they perceived to be the benefits of what they were doing and communicating

Cognitive mapping interviews were undertaken as they enable the researcher to not only gleam finished responses, but also to identify what the respondent “considers in answering the question” which helps to “structure messy or complex data for problem solving” which it was believed that the research aims were to generate. (Czaja, R. & Blair, J.1996; Ackermann, F. et al. 1990) Furthermore, the interview process was in line with Kvale’s “knowledge as conversation” theory and in-turn with the stances adopted for the research, more specifically that facts are human creations. (Kvale, S. 1996:42)

The interview process commenced with each manager and the researcher carrying-out a one-hour taped interview. The interview was undertaken following a series of “semistructured” questions as listed in figure 19. (Kvale, S. 1996) The response/thoughts revealed were mapped out, allowing the respondent to make any changes or linkages they desired or noticed as the process was carried out. (See Appendix D for examples of rough maps)

56

Following the interviews the researcher undertook an analysis of the interviews utilising an interpretative method, cognitive mapping. From the transcripts of the interviews and the rough maps overarching maps were created to reflect the management teams thinking in relation to the question posed. (Kvale, S. 1996:191; Easterby-Smith et al. 2002) Figure 19: Overarching Questions for Cognitive Mapping Interviews

1) Does the Retail centre have an explicit definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR)? (If yes what is it?) 2) What does the term CSR mean to you? (Including what are the characteristics and attributes of CSR, as far as you are concerned.) 3) Is CSR a good thing or a bad thing? (If it is a good thing what are the benefits of it, and if it is a bad thing what are the issues with it?) 4) What caused you to adopt this point of view? 5) How does the Retail centre put CSR into practice? 6) Who do you believe the Retail centre's stakeholders to be? 7) Which of Retail centre’s stakeholders are involved in the operationalisation of CSR. 8) Why does the Retail centre put CSR into practice? 9) To which of its stakeholders does the Retail centre communicate its CSR definition, activities and expected results? 10) How does this communication manifest itself? (Both in terms of content and medium.)[If you have examples of this it would be useful if you could provide them.] 11) Why does the Retail centre communicate CSR in this manner? 12) What do you perceive to be the benefits of communicating CSR with these various stakeholders? (Tangible and Intangible) 13) Why do you believe these are the benefits you will reap?

Following this, each respondent was sent the overall maps produced and then a group “post-interview interview” was conducted to gather feedback on the conclusions drawn from the initial interviews. (Overall maps can be found in Appendix C) This process saw minor amendments made to concept and case specific knowledge produced in this co-operative method.

57

Phase 2 Following this initial phase of data collection/knowledge production, the conclusions drawn by the researcher and the management team were tested through the more conventional and positivistic method of a quantitative survey. (Blair, J. & Czaja, R. 1996; Easterby-Smith et al. 2002; Greenfield, T. 1996) This second phase aimed to test the management’s viewpoint of what is CSR in relation to their stakeholders, and then test whether or not the communication was effective, what methods were effective and what was the effect of the communication.

Sample The survey designed was distributed to 200 stakeholders of the NW retail centre. This sample size was selected for manageability within the time frame available and in order to ensure that the costs incurred were reasonable. A breakdown of the survey distribution is found in figure 20.

Figure 20: Breakdown of Quantitative Survey Distribution
Stakeholder Group NW Retail Centre Management Parent Company Management Back of House Staff Front of House Staff Retail Operation Managers Retailers Suppliers Regulators Centre Users Special Interest Groups/Pressure Groups Media Number of Surveys 10 10 20 20 20 20 20 20 40 10 10

The breakdown of distribution was decided jointly between the researcher and the managers of the NW retail centre based on who they were communicating their CSR with, and who they perceived they were deriving benefits from, at a level that was 58

believed to be proportionate to estimated size of the stakeholder group as a whole. This can be seen in the next chapter in the section dealing with the findings of phase one of the data collection methodology.

The survey was distributed to the selected stakeholder groups by the researcher and the centre by post to all stakeholders, with the exception of centre users. A return postal envelope addressed directly to the researcher to enable respondent confidentiality. This factor was deemed highly important in order to gain open and honest responses from stakeholder groups such as employees and suppliers. This confidentiality, as well as the purpose of the research was communicated to respondents in a covering letter, which accompanied the survey. Stakeholders for these groups were selected randomly from the centre’s databases.

Centre users were surveyed by the researcher soliciting responses from users who were able to spare the requisite time to complete the survey on the same day as questionnaires were distributed to other parties. This was done in order to minimise outside factors that could impact upon the opinions of respondents such as scandals, new communications from the centre etc, and cause an uncontrollable variance in the data collected if the surveying had been conducted at varying times.

This approach saw a “nonprobability-convenience sample” survey conducted, as a result of the fact that respondents were known to be stakeholders, and were approached though methods of ease and convenience. (Blair, J. & Czaja, R. 1996:108)

59

In order to encourage a high response rate, respondents were offered an incentive to complete the survey. This was that one respondent would be randomly selected to win a cash voucher for use at the retail centre.

Of the 200 surveys a total of 81 were returned (41%) four of which were removed from the sample as they were not completed or the responses demonstrated juvenile malice that would distort the results, and more than likely only completed the survey to win the voucher. In the case of the two removed for this reason this was exemplified by profanity in the additional information boxes and uniformity of column from which answers were selected .

Survey Questions The survey designed was constructed of four over-arching thematic areas of questions, testing the principle conclusions drawn from the first phase of the research in terms of the aims. (See Appendix E for sample questionnaire.)These where; “What is CSR” (In My Opinion CSR is about…) “In relation to CSR, I am aware that the NW retail centre”, “I learnt of these activities by the following sources of information” and “As a result of this knowledge”. (Appendix E)

With respect to each thematic area, a series of “closed-ended” multiple-choice questions were posed with the opportunity at the end of each section to add additional commentary. In the case of thematic areas one and four, respondents were asked to codify their level of agreement with a particular statement on a five point “Likert scale” (Remenyi et al. 1998:152; Oppenheim, A. 1992:110)(Easterby-Smith et al. 2002:133) Thematic areas two and three asked respondents to state their awareness of activities

60

undertaken by the centre or sources of information from which they learnt this information by stating whether they were “aware, unsure or unaware”.

The survey questionnaire also collected personal data from the respondents in terms of what stakeholder group they belong to, their sex and age, and how many years they had been a stakeholder of the NW retail centre.

The results of this survey were hoped to be used in statistical analysis, using the SPSS computer software programme, to look for descriptive trends and testing for correlation between independent and fixed variables. (Blair, J. & Czaja, R. 1996; Easterby-Smith et al. 2002; Remenyi et al. 1998; Oppenheim, A. 1992). In addition to examining the overall ‘effectiveness of CSR communications at a major UK retail centre based in the NW of England’ and ‘exploring the tangible and intangible business outcomes generated by corporate social responsibility communication conducted by the major UK retail centre’, it was anticipated that the data could be explored in relation to individual stakeholder groups as well.

However, when it came to conducting the analysis the relatively small sample and the large variety of stakeholder groups that existed proved problematic for utilising SPSS to test for anything more complex than descriptive statistics. This was as a result of the fact that with over “7000 retail staff, 360 internal staff” and over 300,000 users a week the sample size did not allow for the requisite probability and confidence levels. (Appendix A: Interview with Centre Manager) (Blair. J. & Czaja, R. 1996:126 ; Easterby-Smith et al. 2002; Remenyi et al. 1998) However, as the purpose of this research project was to carry-out an exploratory research, the findings presented in

61

following chapter are still believed to be highly relevant. As descriptive statistics are still highly relevant for exploring new concepts and revealing trends that future research can explore further, in this case the researcher future PhD studies. (Blair, J. & Czaja, R. 1996; Easterby-Smith et al. 2002; Remenyi et al. 1998)

4.6 Limitations of Methods

Although in general the research project undertaken proceeded as desired, several limitations or problems occurred which impact upon the research. In phase one and as a whole of the research project, the mode two nature of the research presented several limitations and problems in terms of “the breadth and scope, and longitudinal aspects” of mode two. (Tranfield, D. 2002) In terms of ‘breadth and scope’ the fact is that the area of investigation, CSR, in the current literature and practice, does not sit simply within the context of one discipline but rather across a full spectrum including accounting, human resources management, marketing and business environment studies. This, coupled with the fact the research focussed on communications, meant that there was a significant and wide ranging scope that participants and the researcher had to be able to synthesise. Whether this was achieved remains unclear, although the methodological approach chosen hoped to achieve it. In order to attempt to minimise this limiting factor, the researcher provided opportunities for the group to share information, via face-to-face meetings, email and telephone methods to provide clarification. Furthermore, in order to address and survey a wide enough range of organisational stakeholders, to effectively map and test models of CSR communication, and to examine the results, further issues exist in terms of breadth and scope, as well as in respect to ‘longitudinal aspects’. This resulted in practical problems of time tabling and scheduling various senior managers’ busy diaries in the first phase of the project. As a result of cancellations and re-scheduling issues in the early stages of phase one, and the project running several months behind, several significant changes were made to the 62

research. These included reducing the scale of the second phase of the research with the survey sample size being reduced from 500 to 200 which more than likely resulted in the aforementioned fact that only descriptive statistical analysis could be undertaken to arrive at the findings found in the following chapter. Furthermore, the time pressures that occurred may have resulted in the quantitative survey being constructed hastily, and that may have diminished the professional air of the research needed to motivate high level management at both the centre and its’ parent company to complete the survey, as well as others. This, in turn, may have impacted on the return rate. Further to this, in order to construct a survey that was brief enough to be manageable for respondents as a whole, the questions posed in thematic areas two and three were not structured in a way that allowed for an analysis of what methods were successful in relation to individual stakeholders or what information was delivered by each method. Therefore, future research into the subject would need a different questionnaire structure to allow these relationships to be clearly established. An additional limitation of the research methodology was that in phase two the researcher had to take for granted that it had a “relevance to interviewees” and that they possessed the requisite knowledge necessary for completing the survey. (EasterbySmith et al. 2002:94) However, as CSR and its communication is a relatively new concept, it appears that not much could have been done to alleviate this potential limitation of this exploratory research. Finally, as this research project utilises case study approach, limitations and issues will exist with respect to the “status of knowledge”. (Tranfield, D. 2002) Although the findings presented and discussed may seem logical and generalisable, it is important to remember that the knowledge generated is purely “local knowledge”. In order to generate “universal knowledge” a further series of case studies would need to be undertaken.

63

CHAPTER 5

FINDINGS

As mentioned in the discussion of the research methodology, the project undertaken collected data in two main phases. The first phase was designed to draw out what the management of the retail centre perceived CSR to be, what activities were they undertaking in the fulfilment of CSR, how they were communicating it and what they perceived to be the benefits of what they were doing and communicating. In the second phase the management’s viewpoint of what is CSR was tested in relation to their stakeholders, and similarly in respect to whether or not the communication was effective, what methods were effective and what was the effect of the communication.

5.1

Phase One Findings

The findings are summarised in relation to the interview questions posed to each manager, in the order that they were conducted. ( Complete transcripts of these interviews can be found in Appendix A)

Does the Retail centre have an explicit definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR)? (If yes what is it?)

The initial question posed to managers at the retail centre asked whether or not the retail centre itself had an explicit definition for CSR, to which a unanimous response of “no” was recorded. However, this did not mean that the centre’s management, both individually and as a group did not have a firm idea of what CSR was.

64

What does the term CSR mean to you? (Including what are the characteristics and attributes of CSR, as far as you are concerned.)

Responses to this question allowed the following conceptual framework to be developed. ( Figure 21 )

65

Figure 21: Management View of CSR

Tackling social issues Evolving to meet expectations Being run in a profitable manner
Communicating with stakeholders (2 way i.e. listening

Being accountable

CSR to You?
Operating in an ethical manner How organisations run their business

Organisations going beyond the laws and regulations of Organisations obeying the laws and regulations of

Community involvement/corpo rate citizenship

H& S
Commitment to quality of products and services Environmental Practices Corporate Governance Employment Practices Human Rights Practices

(Appendix C: Question 2)

This shows that the centre’s managers, as a whole, held a view of CSR that incorporates many of the same elements as the definition of CSR extrapolated from the literature review in the discussion of the Neo-Friedman school of thought.

66

In general, an examination of the individual responses that formulated this conceptual map shows that all managers shared the overarching points in the yellow spheres. (Appendix A) However, with respect to some of the points in the red spheres, it was not surprising that individual managers raised points that were of specific interest to them in their individual fields. One, not surprising example was that the first ‘social responsibility’ listed by the HR manager was “the welfare of employees.” (Appendix A: HR Manager Transcript). Nonetheless, the management team as a whole concurred with these points in the review of the findings.

Is CSR a good thing or a bad thing? (If it is a good thing what are the benefits of it, and if it is a bad thing what are the issues with it?)

With respect to whether or not the phenomena of CSR was a good thing or a bad thing, the management as a whole believed that it was positive. They believe that it leads to; increased customer loyal, better customer understanding, benefits to the

parent/associated company, increased staff loyalty, increased customer trade, stronger relationships with stakeholders, enhanced reputation, produces a competitive advantage and develops goodwill that can benefit an organisation in bad times.

What caused you to adopt this point of view?

The management stated that they were spurred on to take this point of view as a result of a mixture of personal and professional life influences. Professionally, individual education, previous employment experiences and the influence of mentors played heavily in determining the viewpoint. Interestingly, as the managers interviewed ranged

67

in age from their late twenties to early fifties, the congruency of viewpoint may seem surprising. However, the strong influence of the current organisational culture at the retail centre may account for this.

With respect to their personal life influences, their personal moral outlook, upbringing, self reflection and the influence of family and friends were stated.

How does the Retail centre put CSR into practice? Although few of the activities were specifically undertaken in the name of CSR, the management group, because of their beliefs in the benefits of CSR, stated that fulfilment of their concept of CSR was being undertaken in the ways outlined in Figure 22.

Figure 22: CSR Fulfilment by the Retail Centre
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Donates used but still working and effective equipment and resources to local groups such as computers to schools Has a green transport policy Has a prayer room Has a stated commitment to the quality of the Retail centre experience Has achieved investors in people status Has developed a curriculum pack for schools and works closely with local schools Has proactive employment and staff policies Operates a fair trading programme in conjunction with its retailers, that incorporates a complaint resolution programme Operates a recycling programme Operates a truancy sweep programme with the local school authorities Operates environmental conservation projects on site Operates proactive security practices for the safety of patrons, which include offering to walk customers/staff to their cars late at night. Runs staff awards programmes for its staff Supports charities and local groups through its fountain fund programme Works with organisations such as the NHS to address social issues such as its recent joint Breast Screening Initiative Works with retailers to run joint staff training programmes Has award winning facilities and provisions for the disabled including: • Toilets • Shopmobility programme • Sensory Solutions programme for the hard of hearing and sight deprived Runs a proactive children’s programme including: • Two play areas • Face painting • Child sized toilet facilities

68

• Provisions of ID tags, buggies and toddler wrist links • Baby changing areas Works Closely with: • Local authorities to ensure that it maximises potential benefits of the Retail centre for the local community and minimizes potential negative impacts. • Government and regulators to ensure compliance with and stay ahead of new laws and regulations • Other local businesses to ensure their joint sustainability and viability • Police, Fire and Medical Services on its Health and Safety provisions

Which of Retail centre’s stakeholders are involved in the operationalisation of CSR? The centre’s management stated that these activities were operationalised in conjunction with the following ‘definitive’ and ‘expectant’ stakeholders; Figure 23: List of Retail Centre Stakeholders
• • • • • • • • • • • Retail centre User (shopper) Retail centre Manager Retail centre Front of House/Customer Service Staff Member Retail centre Back of House/Non-Customer Facing Staff Member Supplier to the Retail centre Staff of Retail centre Retailer Special Interest Group Member Regulator of the Retail centre Regulator Member of the Media Manager of Retail centre Retailer

The list was identical to that which the centre’s management stated were their ‘overall overarching stakeholder groups’, and the same groups that they were ‘communicating their CSR activities with’. (Appendix C: Question 6) (Appendix C: Question 9). This is not surprising considering that the centre managers’ perception of CSR reflects a holistic organisation orientation.

69

How does this communication manifest itself? (Both in terms of content and medium.)[If you have examples of this it would be useful if you could provide them.]

In terms of communications activities with these stakeholders, to transmit the requisite information in relation to CSR, the centre management stated it was undertaken via the methods outlined in figure 24.These methods are clearly congruent with the traditional methods of public relations as extrapolated from Harrison and Hunt and Grunig. (Harrison, S. 1995; Hunt, T. & Grunig, J. 1994) Though it should be noted that no mention was giving to a structured planning cycle for CSR communications like that which the literature indicated was essential to ensure successful delivery and to minimise ‘noise’ and ‘barriers to communications’. However, this may have occurred as part of the overall communications planning cycle, seeing that the centre did not carry out it CSR activities under the formal banner of CSR. Further to this we that he list of methods used shows a mix of ‘public information’, ‘assymetrical 2-way’ and ‘symmetrical 2-way’ methods are used by the centre’s management. (Grunig, J. & Hunt, T. 1984)

Figure 24: Methods of Communicating CSR by the Retail Centre
• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Word-of-Mouth Experience Staff training Staff handbook Staff newsletter Retail centre customer magazine ‘The XXXX Magazine’ Retail centre in mall staff member/customer service desk Retail centre internet site Retail centre schools pack Retail centre Brochures/Leaflets Signs in the Retail centre Face-to-Face meeting with Retail centre Manager Staff Bulletin Board Retail centre retailer newsletter On the big screen TV in the Retail centre In a contract I have with the Retail centre

70

• • • • • • • • •

From the Retail centre’s community development officer From the Retail centre’s retail liaison officer In correspondence with the Retail centre In the Media On TV On the Radio In the Newspaper In a magazine On the Internet

A review of some of the centre’s communications materials substantiated that these materials did carry information dealing with the centre’s manifestations of CSR.

One such example can be viewed in figure 25, which highlights the centre’s disabled facilities in a centre brochure.

Figure 25: Centre Brochure

Awards

Information on Activities

Appendix C, question number 10’s map illustrates which stakeholders the various communication methods undertaken targeted. However, as previously discussed due to the limitations of the methodology, it was not possible to test the effectiveness of individual methods to a high level of certainty. Despite this limitation some deductive conclusions are drawn. in the following chapters. 71

Why does the Retail centre communicate CSR in this manner?

With regards to why the centre’s management communicated in this way, responses indicated that it was as a result of experience, that it was affordable within the budget, and as a result of ad-hoc external advice.

What do you perceive to be the benefits of communicating CSR with these various stakeholders? (Tangible and Intangible) What the centre’s management believe to be the “benefits of the communication being undertaken” and “why the retail centre put CSR into practice” were unsurprisingly identical to what they perceived to be “positive about CSR” for organisations. (Appendix C: Question 12)(Appendix C: Question 8)(Appendix C: Question 3) Benefits illustrated in the figure below; Figure 26: Benefits of CSR Communication to the Centre

Increased customer loyalty (visitors)
Develops goodwill that could help the centre in time of crisis, scandal or significant issues

Enables customers to better understand the centre

Produces a competitive advantage

Benefits of Communicating CSR are?

To benefit parent/associated companies

Increased staff loyalty

Builds/enhances reputation Builds relationships with stakeholders

Increased visitor footfall that results in an increase of trade/purchases for retailers

72

Why do you believe these are the benefits you will reap? In terms of why they believe these are the benefits that the centre derives from this communication, the management group stated that it was a result of intuition, conversation with other professionals and input from the centre user’s twice annual marketing survey which asks them what facilities and services would encourage them to use the centre’s facilities more frequently. However, no formal study was undertaken by the retail centre to evaluate the CSR views of their stakeholders with respect to CSR and/or the centre’s CSR. This fact helps to illustrate, within the context of this case, the value of this research study. Based on the results of this phase, a second phase of the research tested the management’s viewpoint of what is CSR in relation to their stakeholders, and then tested whether or not the communication was effective, what methods were effective and what was the effect of the communication. This was tested utilising the questionnaire discussed in chapter four.

5.2

Phase Two Findings

Respondents

77 responses to the questionnaire were returned and accepted for analysis. The breakdown of the 77 stakeholders was as follows, according to their perception of their primary relationship with the centre:

73

Figure 27: Breakdown of Quantitative Survey Respondents
Centre Users 10 9 29 Centre Managers FOH Staff BOH Staff Supplier Retailer Staff 12 4 3 6 3 pecial Interest Group Retailer Manager Parent Company manager

46 stakeholders categorised themselves as having a secondary relationship with the centre. 44 of these defined themselves as a stakeholder, revealing that due to the nature of the retail centre’s operation and the service provided, many of its stakeholders view themselves as users in addition to their existing role.

Furthermore, the respondents considered themselves to have been stakeholders for a mean period of 4.05 years.

Results In My Opinion CSR is about…

In response to what CSR as a concept was, and in relation to the management of the centre’s beliefs, the respondents answered the following; as in figure 28.

74

Figure 28: Respondents View of CSR

The informal contract organisations have with society The formal contract organisations have with society Organisations operating in an ethical manner Organisations making donations to support groups addressing social causes Organisations listening and communication with their stakeholders Organisations evolving to meet changing expectations Organisations being caring about the needs and issues important to its stakeholders Organisations being run in a profitable manner Organisations being involved in their community (ies) development Organisations being accountable to all interested stakeholders Organsiations behaving as good corporate citizens Organisations addressing social issues How organisations run their businesses/activities Going beyond in terms of human rights practices Going beyond in terms of employment and staff development practices Going beyond in terms of corporate governance practices Going beyond in terms of commitment to quality of products and services Going beyond in terms of health and safety practices Going beyond in terms of environmental practices Organisations obeying the formal laws and regualtions of society

1

2

3

4

5

1-Strongly Disagree, 2-Disagree, 3-Neither Agree or Disagree, 4-Agree, 5Strongly Agree

75

Codification of the response on the graph relates to the ‘Likert scale’ evaluation tool with the scale being indicated at the base of the figure. (Easterby-Smith et al: 2002)

We see that, as a whole, the centre’s stakeholders agree with the concept of CSR that the centre’s management held. The strongest agreement amongst the 77 respondents being in relation to CSR being about “organisations operating in an ethical manner” with 32 agreeing and 36 strongly agreeing and “behaving as good corporate citizens,” with 40 agreeing and 25 strongly agreeing. The least agreement being in relation to “organisation being run in a profitable manner”, with a total of 32 respondents not strongly agreeing or even agreeing with the conclusions drawn.

In relation to CSR, I am aware that the NW retail centre… With respect to being aware of what the retail centre was doing in relation to CSR, the findings below show that not the same level of congruence existed between what the centre’s managers were doing and communicating and what the stakeholders where aware of Figure 29 shows that of 28 activities the centre’s management stated they were undertaking in the name of CSR, the majority of the centre stakeholders were unaware of 12, fully aware of only 10, with six remaining balanced between awareness and lack thereof.

76

Figure 29: What the Retail Centre is Doing in Relation to CSR

Works closely with - Police, fire and medical services Works closely with - Other local businesses Works closely with - Governments and regulators Works closely with - local authorities Runs proactive children's programmes - baby changing areas Runs proactive children's programmes - provisions of ID tags, buggies and toddler Runs proactive children's programmes - child sized toilets Runs proactive children's programmes - face painting Runs proactive children's programmes - two play areas Has award winning disable facilities - Sensory Solutions Has award winning disable facilities - Shopmobility programme Has award winning disable facilities - toilets Works with retailers to run joint staff training programmes Works with organisations such as the NHS to address social issues Supports charities and local groups through fountain fund programme Runs staff awards programmes for its staff Operates proactive security practices for safety of patrons Operates an environmental conservation projects on site Operates a truancy sweep programme Operates a recycling programme Operates a fair trading programme Has proactice employment and staff policies Has developed a curriculm pack for schools and works closely with schools Has achieved investors in people status Has a stated commitment to the quality of the Trafford Centre experience Has a prayer room Has a green transport policy Donates used but still working and effective equipment and resources to local groups

1

1.5

2

2.5

3

1-Aware, 2-Unaware, 3-Unsure

77

Stakeholders were most aware of those elements highly visible/relevant to users such as special needs facilities for children, fair trading programme (which ensures consumer/user rights are respected), the disabled facilities and their charitable giving fountain fund. Programmes that are specific to only limited or individual stakeholder groups, such as its work with local businesses, proactive employment policies and staff training programmes run jointly with retailers, have the lowest awareness.

I learnt of these activities by the following sources of information…

From Figure 30, we see once again, that those methods of communications that are highly visible to users, as a whole, were the most successful communications medium for the centre’s stakeholders to learn of CSR activities. These methods were the big screen television in the centre, centre brochures, signs in the centre and the actual ‘experience’ {experience from interaction) of stakeholders with the NW retail centre. Similarly to with the previous section of findings, those methods that relate to specific stakeholder groups other than the users (of which most other stakeholders fit into in addition to their primary relationship) such as staff bulletin boards, retailer newsletter and the schools pack seem to be the least successful mediums.

78

Figure 30: Sources of Information on Centre’s CSR Activities

In the media - On the internet In the media - In a magazine In the media - In the newspaper

Unsure

In the media - On the radio In the media - On TV In correspondance with the Retail Centre From the Retail Centre's Retail Liason Officer From the Retail Centre's community development officer In a contract I have with the Retail Centre On the big screen in the Retail Centre Retail Centre retailer newsletter Staff bulletin board

Unaware

Face-to-face meeting with Retail Centre manager Signs in Centre Centre brochures leaflets Centre schools pack Centre internet site Centre in mall staff member/customer service desk Centre customer magazine Staff newsletter Staff handbook Staff training Experience Word-of-mouth

Aware

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70
Number of Respondents 79

As a result of this knowledge…

With respect to the final area of investigation, “what outcomes did the centre CSR activities and their communication generate/ as result of the knowing about the CSR activities of the centre what were the implications with stakeholders? it was found that that great symmetry existed with the centre’s management’s views.

This symmetry is illustrated in figure 31 below;

Figure 31: Outcomes of the Centre’s CSR Communications
I feel a loyalty to the Retail Centre I would be more likely to support the Retail Centre's owners... I would be more likely to give the Retail Centre the benefit of the doubt

visit more frequently and spend more money than before

5 4 3 2 1

I am more likely to recommend the Retail Centre to others in my position I am more likely to support the Retail Centre when they are being criticised

I am more likely to visit the Retail Centre ov other shopping areas

I hold a more positive perception of Retail Centre than before

I do visit the Retail Centre over others that do not undertake these activities

I hold a positive perception of the Retail Centre I have spoken, written or communicated positive thins about the Retail Centre

I feel that the Retail Centre cares about the issues important to me and others I feel that the Retail Centre is addressing the issues important to me and others

We see that most of the centre’s assumptions were correct having high levels of agreement from stakeholders as a whole, with the exception of two assumptions. The two assumptions that are the exceptions are; ‘I visit more frequently and spend more than before” and “I do visit the Retail Centre over others that do not undertake these activities”. Both of which saw high proportions of respondents not agree or disagree

80

with the statement, disagree or strongly disagree with statement, specifically 42, 13 & 5 respondents totalling 59 in the first statements case and 28,6 & 5 respondents totalling 39 in the second statements case.

5.3

Summary

The above are the findings that the research uncovered in relation to the study undertaken, taking account for the limitations of the methodology that impacted upon it. In the following chapter a discussion of the implications of the findings is undertaken, and conclusions are drawn from the findings.

81

CHAPTER 6
6.1

DISCUSSION & CONCLUSION

Discussion & Conclusions

The findings of both phases of the research project raise several intriguing points which may impact on conclusions drawn in relation to the aims of this research project. Specially, the symmetry between management and stakeholders’ views of CSR, limited awareness of CSR activities by stakeholders, and assessment of benefits obtained from CSR communication are addressed below.

Discussion of findings A great symmetry between the academic thought with respect to CSR and the centre’s management viewpoint is clearly evident and demonstrated through the centre’s manifestation of CSR. We see clear synergies with regards to ‘social contracts’, diverse stakeholders, obeying the laws and regulations of government, ethical conduct, community involvement, philanthropy, corporate governance, corporate citizenship, addressing of social issues, a commitment to the quality of its products and services, human rights, health, safety and the environment. The latter is demonstrated by the activities listed in figure 22 such as the centre’s green transport policy and recycling with regards to the environment. Further to this the centre’s managers held the belief, as supported by some of the academic literature cited, that CSR activities and their communication need to contribute to the profitability of the organisation, although this did have the least level of agreement with the stakeholders as a whole.

It also evident from the findings that only a limited range of CSR activities were known to the stakeholders as a whole and via a limited number of communication methods. This level of awareness and the success of communications methods appears to be

82

linked to what is communicated and evident to centre users. It is pertinent to note that this stakeholder group includes most respondents, although it might not have been their primary relationship with the retail centre.

This does not mean, however that the other activities and methods were ineffective. Many of the activities and methods dealt only with a specific stakeholder group and the total number of respondent surveyed was to few to allow for effective testing as previously discussed in chapter four. It is reasonable to deduce that they may have been highly effective, however further research would be required to prove such a hypothesis.

A further point of interest relates to the benefits accruing to the centre as a result of undertaking CSR activities and communicating them. We see that in general their assumptions with regards to benefits are correct and that numerous intangible benefits are generated, especially in terms of corporate reputation and stakeholder perception. However, there is not a direct correlation between the activities and tangible benefits. With regards to “frequency of visit and spending”, the stakeholders as whole were unsure that they agreed this was an effect of effective CSR activity. However, at the same time they did not disagree with the statement.

These findings of the research project, the methodology of the project and its execution and the literature review conducted complete the objectives necessary for the accomplishment of the aims of the project.

83

Conclusions In relation to the aims the following conclusions can be drawn;

Assess the current definition and usage of the term Corporate Social Responsibility. Three principle schools of thought were found to exist. They were characterised as the Bowen, Friedman and the Neo-Friedman schools of thought and encompassed divergent and moderating literatures, in terms of CSR perspectives. From this research literature a novel, generalisable definition of CSR in the current temporal context was extrapolated.

Define, if possible, a novel, generalisable definition of Corporate Social Responsibility in its current temporal context. The second aim of the project was achieved by defining CSR as follows: Corporations’ being held accountable by explicit or inferred social contract with internal and external stakeholders, obeying the laws and regulations of government and operating in an ethical manner which exceeds statutory requirements. This “ethical manner” is placed at the core of the entity’s strategy, exemplified by proactive community involvement, philanthropy, corporate governance, corporate citizenship, addressing of social issues, a commitment to the quality of its products and services, human rights, health, safety and the environment and its staff. An accountability, which its strategy, aims, principles and manifestations are measurable and audited, the results of which are communicated to the corporation’s audiences (stakeholders). While all the time this accountability should ensure a continual emphasis on generating growth, revenue and profit for the corporate entity and its shareholders/owners, facilitating this process either directly or through positive effects on the entity’s intangible assets, such as brands and reputation.

Develop a research methodology for future study With regards to the third aim of the research, the research methodology undertaken has not proven to be a wholly effective methodology for future research. However, it is 84

believed that it carried out with greater scope over a longer and more flexible time-line, addressing the limitations discussed and thereby allowing for greater depth in analysis, that the methodology shows promise for exploring the concept of CSR. It did bring out several valuable findings from the case study undertaken of the major UK retail centre based in the NW of England.

Assess the effectiveness of CSR communications at a major UK retail centre based in the NW of England.. By treating its stakeholders as a homogenous group the centre was only partially effective in communicating all the activities it undertook. It managed only to completely communicate universally applicable user-oriented CSR activities.

However, the research did show that some of the methods utilised by the centre were highly effective in contrast to others for reaching the majority of stakeholders. In the following section of recommendations some implications for the centre with respect to these methods are suggested.

Explore the tangible and intangible business outcomes generated by corporate social responsibility communication conducted by the major UK retail centre The research showed that the centres’ communication strategy was highly effective in generating intangible business outcomes for the centre and may be generating tangible ones, but it is not possible to be conclusive of this statement.

85

6.2

Recommendations

From the research there are three key areas in which recommendation can be made. These are with respect to the centre and its CSR communication effectiveness, the methodology and future research.

With respect to the methodology it is recommended that the questionnaire and sample limitations discussed above are addressed. The research can then be carried out as outlined above, however with more time allowed for the second phase.

To improve the cost effectiveness and impact of CSR communication by the retail centre it is recommended that user driven methods of communications should be utilised. These reach the largest proportion of stakeholders, although the value of other methods should not be discounted.

It is also recommended that the centre adopt more rigorous methods of planning and evaluating CSR, their fulfilment of the social contract and its communication. This could be the done through the techniques reviewed in the literature review, the amended methodology proposed by this researcher or by other evaluation tools.

Further to this, with regards to future research, several recommendation/implications are discussed in the final section of the body of this document.

86

6.3

Limitations of the Study

In addition to these limitations mentioned with regards to the methodology, two other principal limitations exist.

Firstly, the contribution to knowledge of this study is purely case specific/“local theory”. (Easterby-smith et al.) Baring the concept of CSR and the stakeholder viewpoint of CSR, that which might be considered generalisable theory as to what is CSR, the remainder of knowledge or insights are developed from the local perspective. Even though practical replication of the effective methods of communication may result in the same effects with regards to business at large, it is not possible to conclude/extrapolate this from a single case study.

Furthermore, a greater limitation of the study may have been the breadth and scope of the research aims themselves. It may be the case that the scope of the research project attempted was to vast within the context of a Master’s Dissertation and resulted in the contribution to knowledge being highly descriptive. However, the purpose of the Mres is to test and pilot one’s PhD research. Although it may have limited the study of the case to an exploratory and descriptive level, the implications in terms of method and for future research are perceived to outweigh the limitations imposed.

6.4

Implications for Future Research

Three main areas evolve from the research for future study. These are the choice, suitability, and application of the methods used in the research; the generalisability of the results and conclusions that emerged from the project; the structuring and effectiveness of corporate CSR activities and communication.

87

Methodology Future research must address three questions. First, does the use of Mode 2 research strategy provide an effective means of collaboratively investigating CSR in a large corporate setting? Work with the centre management team did appear to allow the development of a sound basis for going forward. However, their natural disposition was towards customer service and executive/owner approval was obtained for the project. In future studies the role of the top management team will be critical. . Secondly, do structured interviews provide sufficient input and foundation to allow questionnaires to be prepared for empirical investigation of a wider stakeholder population? The limitations with two sections of the questionnaire have been noted above. In order to establish relevant correlations between CSR activities and stakeholder actions/perceptions, it will be necessary to validate the responses. Allowing subject input to establish the parameters for quantitative assessment requires significant research discipline in Mode 2 work. Lastly, what steps must be taken to ensure that an acceptable and representative sample is obtained in a reasonable time? My experience on this project suggests that planning, follow up and time are key elements of future study. Generalisability of the Results As has been observed above, the results of a single case study may not be relevant to other than the specific situation. However, the findings from this research would appear to be at least intuitively, transferable to other corporate environments. Specifically, future research needs to determine if these results are applicable to other retail centres in the UK, and ultimately to all corporate entities. This may require replication across a number of retail centres and other corporate businesses, a task of some magnitude. However, one might expect that a CSR / stakeholder model would begin to emerge after a few additional cases were undertaken. 88

Effective CSR Practices If future research can identify “ best practices” that will demonstrate the impacts of specific CSR communication activities on stakeholders and the organisation it will have made a major contribution to both academic and management communities. This may entail deeper and broader sampling, coupled with more empirical analysis than was possible in this research. The limitations in respect to identifying and creating awareness of stakeholder specific communication activities will only be overcome through a more in-depth and segmented research and analysis. Sample size and breadth inhibited this occurring in this research project. This research did provide valuable and potentially valid indicators of the relationships that exist between CSR practice and impacts, between the corporation and its’ stakeholders and within management and stakeholder groups. As such it provides an important direction to this researcher’s future PhD studies. However, it has left many questions requiring resolution and the challenge of exploring and creating new knowledge remains to be addressed.

89

BIBLIOGRAPHY
Abercrombie et al. (2000) The Penguin Dictionary of Sociology: Fourth Edition. United Kingdom: Penguin Books.

Ackermann, F. et al. (1990) Cognitive Mapping – a user’s guide. The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Management Science, Theory Method and Practice Series. February 1990.

Balabanis et al (1998) Corporate Social Responsibility and economic performance in the top British companies are they linked? European Business Review, Volume 98, Number 1, pages 25-44.

Benn, P. (1998) Ethics. United Kingdom: UCL Press.

Bennett, R. (1997) Corporate Philanthropy in the UK: Altruistic Giving or Marketing Communications Giving. Journal of Marketing Communications, Volume 3, Pages 87-109.

Bergen, J. (2000) Reputation and Business Responsibility. Unknown: Council of Public Relations Firms.

Black et al. (2000) The Market Valuation of Corporate Reputation. Corporate Reputation Review Volume 3 Issue 1 pages 31-42.

90

Boehm, A. (2002) Corporate Social Responsibility: A Complementary Perspective of Community and Corporate Leaders: Business and Society Review. Volume 107:2 pages 171-194.

Britannica World Language (1961) Funk & Wagnalls Standard Dictionary; International Edition. United States: Britannica World Language.

Burke, L & Logson, M. (1996) How Corporate Social Responsibility Pays Off. Long Range Planning, Volume 29, Number 4, pages 495-502.

Business in the Community (2002) Corporate Social Responsibility Forum Internet Site. United Kingdom: Business in the Community [Online 21/02/02] accessed at: http://www.csrforum.com

Carr, A. (1968) Is Business Bluffing Ethical?. Harvard Business Review, January 1st, 1968.

Carr, A. (1996) Is Business Bluffing Ethical? In Rae et al. (Eds) Beyond Integrity: A Judeo-Christain Approach. United States: Zondervan Publishing House. pages 55-62. Carroll, A (1999) Corporate Social Responsibility: Evolution of a Definitional Construct. Academy of Management Review, Volume 4, pages 268-296.

Carroll, A. (1979) A Three-Dimensional Conceptual Model of Corporate Performance. Academy of Management Review, Volume 4, pages 497-505.

91

CERES (2002) Ceres Principles. Unknown, CERES

Charkham, J. (1992) Corporate Governance: Lesson from Abroad. European Business Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, pages 8-16.

Clark, C. (2000) Differences Between Public Relations and Corporate Social Responsibility. Public Relations Review, Volume 26, Issue 3, pages 363-380.

Clarke, T. (1997) Measuring and managing stakeholder relations. Journal of Communication Management, Volume 2, Issue 3, pages 211-221.

Commission of the European Communities (2001) Promoting a European Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities.

Commission of the European Communities (2002) Communication from the commission concerning; Corporate Social Responsibility: A business contribution to Sustainable Development. Brussels: Commission of the European Communities.

Cowe, R. (2002) Embracing Companies Social Role. Financial Times, Monday July 15th 2002, page 10.

Crotty, M. (1998) The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process. United Kingdom: Sage.

92

Czaja, R. & Blair, J. (1996) Designing Surveys; A Guide To Decisions and Procedures. United States of America. Pine Forge Press.

Davis, K. & Bollstrom, R. (1966) Business and its Environment. United States: McGraw Hill.

Davis, K. (1967), Understanding the Social Responsibility Puzzle. Business Horizons. Volume 10, Issue 1: pages 45-50.

Demosthenous, M (2000) The Social Responsibility of Business: A Review. Flinders University, School of Commerce Research Paper Series, 00-8.

Easterby-Smith et al. (2002) Management Research an Introduction, United Kingdom: Sage.

Eberstadt, N. (1997) What History Tells Us About Corporate Responsibilities. In A.B. Carroll (Ed) Managing Corporate Social Responsibility: 17-22: United States: Little Brown.

Echo Research. (2003) International Trends in CSR; “Giving Back” Report on Global Markets, 2001-2. PowerPoint Presentation for Institute of Public Relations CSR Forum. United Kingdom. Institute of Public Relations [Online 21/02/2003] Accessed at: www.IPR.org.uk

93

Eisenhardt, K. (1989) Building Theories from Case Study Research. Academy of Management Review, Volume 14, Issue 4, pages 532-550.

Emerald Insight (2003) Citation Search for Corporate Social Responsibility [Online 29/03/03] Accessed at: www.zerlina.emeraldinsight.com

Esrock, S. & Leichty B. (1998) Social Responsibility and Corporate Web Pages: Selfpresentation or Agenda Setting? Public Relations Review, Fall 1998.

Feyerabend, P. (1994) Against Method. United Kingdom: Verso.

Flew, A. (1979) A Dictionary of Philosophy. United Kingdom: Macmillan Press.

Fombrum, C. & Gardberg, N. (2000) Who’s Top in Corporate Reputation. Corporate Reputation Review Volume 3, Issue 1.

Foucault, M. (1972) The Archaeology of Knowledge, United Kingdom: Tavistock.

Frakental, P (2001) Corporate Social Responsibility – A PR invention. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Volume 6, Number 1, pages 18-23.

Freeman, E. (1984) Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach: United States: Pitman Bowen.

94

Friedman, M. (1962) Capitalism and Freedom. United States: University of Chicago Press.

Friedman, M. (1970) The social responsibility of businesses is to increase its profits. New York Times Magazine, September 13, 1970, pages 32+.

FTSE4Good (2002) The Way Ahead, United Kingdom, FTSE4Good. [Online 05/08/2002] Accessed at: http://www.ftse4good.com/about_p5.htm.

Gibbons, et al. (1994) The New Production of Knowledge: the dynamics of science and research in contemporary societies. United Kingdom: Sage

Greenfield, T. (1996) Research Methods: Guidance for Postgraduates. Great Britain: Arnold.

Griswold, G. (1967) How AT&T Public Relations Policies Developed. Public Relations Quarterly, Volume 12, pages 7-16.

Grunig, J & Grunig L. (1992) Models of public relations and communication. In Grunig, J. (Ed) Excellence in public relations and communications management. United States: Lawrence Erlbaum, pages 285-325.

Grunig, J. & Hunt, T. (1984) Managing Public Relations. United States: Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc.

95

Guthrie, J. & Parker, L. (1990) Corporate Social Disclosure Practice: A comparative social disclosure analysis. Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Volume 3, pages 159-175.

Harlow, R. (1976) Building a public relations definition. Public Relations Review, Volume 2, Issue 4, pages 34-41

Harrison, S. (1995) Public Relations: An Introduction. United States: Routeledge.

Harvey, D. (1990) The Condition of Postmodernity. United Kingdom: Blackwell

Hemphil, T. (1997) Legislating Corporate Social Responsibility. Business Horizons, March-April, pages 53-58.

Hodgkinson et al (2001) Re-Aligning the Stakeholders in Management Research lessons from Industrial, Work and Organizational Psychology. British Journal of Management, Volume 12 Special Issue, pages S41-S48

Huff, A. & Huff, J. (2001) Re-Focussing the Business School Agenda. British Journal of Management, Volume 12 Special Issue, pages S49-S54

Hunt, T. & Grunig, J. (1994) Public Relations Techniques. United States: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Inc.

96

Jackson, B. (2001) Management Gurus and Management Fashions. United Kingdom: Routledge.

Key, S & Popkin, S. (1998) Integrating ethics into the strategic management process: doing well by doing good. Management Decision, Volume 6, Number 5, pages 331338.

Knoepfel, I. (2001) Dow Jones Sustainability Group Index, A Global Benchmark for Corporate Sustainability. Corporate Environmental Strategy, Volume 8, Issue 1, pages 6-15.

Lantos, G. (2001) The Boundaries of Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Consumer Marketing, Volume 18, Number 7, pages 595-630.

Lewis, L. & Unermant, J. (1999) Ethical Relativism: A Reason for Differences in Corporate Social Reporting?: Critical Perspectives on Accounting. Volume 10 Issue 4 pages 521-547.

Lewis, S. (2001) Measuring Corporate Reputation. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Volume 6, Number 1, pages 31-35.

Maignan, I. (2000) Measuring Corporate Citizenship in Two Countries: The case of the United States and France. Journal of Business of Ethics, Volume 23 Issue 3, Pages 285-297.

97

McAdam, T. (1973) How to put Corporate Social Responsibility into Practice. Business and Society Review, Issue 6, pages 8-16.

McWilliams, A. & Siegel, D. (2000) Corporate Social Responsibility and Financial Performance: correlation or misspecification?, Strategic Management, Volume 21, Number 5, pages 603-609.

Melden, A. (Ed)(1967) Ethical Theories: A Book of Readings -2nd Edition with Revisions. United Kingdom: Prentice Hall.

Mitchell, R. et al. (1997) Towards a theory of stakeholder identification and salience: Defining the principle of who and what really counts. Academy of Management Review, Volume 22, Issue 4, pages 853-886.

Moss, D. (2002) Planning & Evaluating PR Campaigns. [Unpublished Presentation, MMU MA PR Course Notes] United Kingdom: MMU

Murray, K. & Vogel, M. (1997) Using a Hierarchy-of-Effects Approach to Gauge the Effectiveness of Corporate Social Responsibility to Generate Goodwill Towards the Firm: Financial versus Nonfinancial Impacts. Journal of Business Research, Volume 38, pages 141-159.

Oppenheim, A. (1992) Questionnaire Design, Interviewing and Attitude Measurement. United Kingdom: Continuum

98

Oxford et al. (1996) Complete Wordfinder. United States: Oxford University Press.

Phillips, R. & Claus, S. (2002) Corporate Social Responsibility and Global HR; Balancing the needs of the corporation for its stakeholders. SHRM Global Forum [Online 18/07/2002] Accessed at: http://www.shrmglobal.org/publications/focus/CSR2002.asp

Pinkston, T & Carroll, A. (1996) A Retrospective Examination of CSR Orientations: Have They Changed. Journal of Business Ethics, Volume 15 Issue 2, pages 199-206.

Popper, K. (1972) Objective Knowledge: An Evolutionary Approach. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

Preston, L & Post, J. (1975) Private Management and Public Policy: The Principle of Public Responsibility. United States, Prentice-Hall.

Proquest (2003) Citation Search for Corporate Social Responsibility [Online 29/03/03] Accessed at: www.proquest.umi.com

Pryce, V. (2002) CRS-should it be the preserve of the usual suspects? Business Ethics, A European Review. Volume #11 Issue 2

Readers Digest (1996) Readers Digest Complete Wordfinder. New York, Oxford University Press.

99

Remenyi et al. (1998) Doing Research in Business Management; An Introduction to Process and Method. United Kingdom: Sage.

ScienceDirect (2003) Citation Search for Corporate Social Responsibility [Online 29/03/03] Accessed at: www.sciencedirect.com

Sethi, P. (1975) Dimensions of Corporate Social Performance: An Analytic Framework. California Management Review, Volume 17, pages 58-64.

Shannon, C. & Weaver, W. (1948) The Mathematical Theory of Communications. United States: University of Illinois Press.

Siegel, D. et al (2001) Corporate Social Responsibility: A Theory of the Firm Perspective. Academy of Management Review, Volume 26 Issue 1, Pages 117-127.

Singer, A. (1993) A Companion to Ethics. United Kingdom: Blackwell Publishers.

Social Accountability International (2001) SA8000. Unknown: Social Accountability International.

Solomon, R. (1993) Ethics and Excellence: Cooperation and Integrity in Business. United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

100

Starkey, K. & Madan, P. (2001) Bridging the Relevance Gap: Aligning Stakeholders in the Future of Management Research. British Journal of Management, Volume 12 Special Issue, pages S3-S26.

Starkey, K. (2001) In Defence of Modes One, Two and Three: A Response. British Journal of Management, Volume 12 Special Issue, pages S77-S80.

Stone, N. (1995) The Management and Practice of Public Relations. United States: Macmillan Business Press.

Tranfield, D. & Starkey, K. (1998) The Social Organization and Promotion of Management Research: Towards Policy. British Journal of Management, Volume 9, pages 341-353.

Tranfield, D. (2002a) Future Challenges for Management Research. European Management Journal, Volume 20 #4, pages 409-413.

Tranfield, D. (2002b) Formulating the Nature of Management Research. European Management Journal, Volume 20, 4, pages 378-382.

Warnaby, G. & Moss, D. (1997) ‘The role of public relations’ in Kitchen, P (Ed). Public Relations: Principles and Practice. United Kingdom: ITP, pages 6-21.

Warren, R. (2000) Corporate Governance and Accountability. Great Britain, Liverpool Academic Press.

101

Whetten et al. (2002) “What Are The Responsibilities of Business to Society”. In Pettigrew et al (Ed.) Handbook of Strategy and Management. United Kingdom: Sage, 373-408.

White, J. (1991) How to Understand and Manage Public Relations. United Kingdom: Business Books.

Whitley, R. (1984) The Fragmented State of Management Studies: Reasons and Consequences. Journal of Management Studies, Volume 21 3, pages 331-348.

Williams, H. (2002) British American Tobacco Fights Back Over CSR Report. PR WEEK, July 12th 2002.

Wood, D. (1991) Corporate Social Performance Revisited. Academy of Management Review, Volume 16, Number 4, pages 758-69.

Wren, D. (1979) The Evolution of Management Thought (second edition). New York. Wiley.

Yin, R. (1994) Case study research design and methods. United Kingdom: Sage Publications.

102

APPENDIX A

MANAGEMENT INTERVIEW SCRIPTS

Interview 1 – Ryan Bowd - HR Manager Interview 2 – Ryan Bowd – Marketing Manager Interview 3 – Ryan Bowd – PA Manager Interview 4 – Ryan Bowd – PR Manager Interview 5 – Ryan Bowd – Centre Manager

103

CSR – MRes Major UK Retail Centre Interview one: Ryan Bowd – HR Manager ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SIDE A Ryan: The first question that I’m going to ask is: If as far as you’re concerned or you believe “Does the Major UK Retail Centre have an explicit definition of Corporate Social Responsibility”? HR Manager: So it’s like a mind mapping exercise? Ryan: Essentially yes. Ryan: Because what we’ll do as we go through, i.e. the next question is “what do those terms CSR mean to you”? What we’re looking for is what we will draw the key points from that you need and we will build around that and as it grows. Then we will do what do people think, and the methods of communication. What does the term CSR mean to you? What do you perceive to be the characteristics and attributes of CSR? HR Manager: My view of corporate responsibility, social responsibility and then corporate and social responsibility. So, in terms of corporate responsibility and the managers and the senior directors, within a business, have got a responsibility under corporate law and legislation to, you know, to sort of run their business and according to the parameters that are laid down. Ryan: You would prefer to describe it as a legislative and legal responsibility then? HR Manager: Yes Ryan: Ok HR Manager: But also, they’ve got responsibility to assure that the organization, that they’re managing needs, its overall objectives which for the majority of organizations is going to bring it down to the bottom line and profitability. That the management of all of that structure is done in such a way that its fair, its equitable and that the company’s bottom line objectives have been achieved. In terms of social responsibility, my understanding of that is that, along side the corporate responsibility, there is the responsibility for the social aspects. On the one hand they could be ultimately the welfare of the employees and that could cause an overlap of the two, because of the legal aspects etc. But also, I think the Major UK Retail Centre does that very well. It takes a degree of responsibility for social factors within the environment and the surrounding environment and takes responsibility for that. So, for example, we’ve got an environmental policy. We have a charities committee that donates the money out of the fundings and we do the fund raisings events for charities. In actual fact, when you meet with Alison Reid, I think that out of anybody’s role Alison’s is the (What’s the word I’m looking for?) closeness that struggles for corporate and social responsibility. She is going out there. Ryan: So you have a dedicated community? HR Manager: Yes. That kind of culture, a corporate and a social responsibility, the two, being engendered within the management team, right from the very outset. Understanding the essence of culture, that’s the way the Major UK Retail Centre operates. The way it values and the way that we sell ourselves. In my own rules I’m involved in quite a number of committees, which ultimately stand out of the corporate responsibility side of things, but ultimately have, I would say, a social responsibility agenda. Ryan: So, the CSR staff must be relieved by their ultimate ... Its kind of a key point you’re coming out with. Ok. By judges, does it need to be in a different kind of method? In a pond and organized way, that CSR, its characteristic isn’t at hawk? HR Manager: I think it is at hawk, at the moment, within the Major UK Retail Centre because we don’t have an explicit definition of corporate social responsibility. As to the culture, it’s up to each individual manager to take on additional social responsibility. But most of us have obviously have to around bottom line and will consider that in line with sort of business needs. Ryan: Well, from your personal viewpoint, would you believe that CSR is something that is practiced generally at hawk in organizations or something that should be practiced or is practiced in most organizations in an applying manner? HR Manager: Well, it’s organizations then. I don’t think I know the answer to that one. However, I think there are a few high profile organizations where corporate social responsibility is practiced, and it is quite high on the agenda. I would imagine that in those organizations that it is very much structured and every manager has an explicit responsibility. Ryan: Ok HR Manager: Those organizations that I can think of, just thinking quickly, McDonald’s, and the reason why I choose McDonald’s is there’s something recently on the television about McDonald’s more on the welfare and social side of things, I don’t know if you’ve seen it. It was on a few months ago. A company I worked for previously, Granada, that I know that they contribute an awful lot to the community and that it’s high on the agenda. I suppose other organizations, Mark’s & Spencer’s is another one. They have a very strong social responsibility. I think, I would imagine that some other organizations, like ourselves, it’s sort of new to them and they probably don’t fully understand the concept. We sort of do things on a local level (local charities).

104

Ryan: Would you say that CSR is, for most organizations, still is a new concept? HR Manager: Possibly Ryan: Possibly, ok. HR Manager: Not, really. Hang on. I got a bit mixed up there. For most organizations is it a new concept? Good question. Possibly for most organizations, yes. Organizations such as Cadbury’s, Clark’s are they another one? Those kinds of organizations have come a long way haven’t they? Going back to the 40’s and 50’s they did do some kind of social responsibility for the workers. Ryan: So then, these are the ones you would describe as an example like Cadbury’s. So then Granada is the one that comes to mind for the community challenge? HR Manager: For community challenge yes. That’s the biggest one. Ryan: Are there any other characteristics that jump to mind? You said some welfare for employees, social factors, the conceptual states of examples, legislative/legal responsibilities, achievement of organizational goals including profit. Also that staff that must be believed by management. Are there any other things? Characteristics that you feel describe and make up CSR? HR Manager: I did also mention an environmental policy. Ryan: Yes, and other social factors. You have an environmental policy, a dedicated community HR Manager: Are we talking about the Major UK Retail Centre. Ryan: Yes, but we’re talking about what you believe CSR is. HR Manager: And other characteristics… Maybe we can come back to that. Ryan: Ok. CSR do you believe it’s a bad thing or a good thing? HR Manager: I think that if it’s managed correctly and that everybody has an involvement in the process, then it could only be a good thing. To be good it has to be marketed and publicized, and implemented and followed in the right way. Ryan: So, to a point you think it is a good thing. So would you think that CSR is something that cannot be communicated or would you believe that in order for corporate social responsibility to be there it has to be communicated? HR Manager: Without a doubt. If the communication is not there you’re not going to balance. You have a group or committee there, and without communication those people not going to know what the company’s aims and objectives are in relation to it. Ryan: Ok. So if managed correctly, what do you perceive are the benefits that make it good? HR Manager: Contribution back to the environment, contribution back into the social factors that we talked about. Ryan: So by environment, you mean kind of green, like the natural environment? HR Manager: Yes. Ryan: Alright, contribution to the natural environment. HR Manager: Contribution back into the community, contribution back into welfare of employees and customers. I want to show the fact that if it is marketed, it can show that the organization has been a good caring organization. Ryan: So, one is organizational benefits and the other is reputational. Do you think there’s other benefits to the organization? HR Manager: Financial benefits. Ryan: What kind of financial benefits? HR Manager: If a company, or an organization, I don’t know if it is believed, but if a company seems to be doing a good thing and makes a contribution back into the environment and community, or whatever, it’s more likely then that you’re going to appeal to a particular group of customers who will, maybe, help build some confidence in your approach. Ryan: Ok. So would you say it could increase revenue? HR Manager: Yes Ryan: Ok. New business? HR Manager: Yes

105

Ryan: Anything else? In terms of the financial aspects? HR Manager: Yes. Well, I’m thinking in terms of new business potentially, maybe helping people who are from smaller organizations to reach the larger organizations. So for example, like ten years ago you don’t see a n organic pear or apple on the shelves. But now what they’re doing, they are promoting organic products and also promoting that fact that they are helping the smaller farmers. Ryan: Why do you think that is? HR Manager: There are benefits ultimately for Sainsbury’s. Bu,t also there was customer pressure and customer demands. Ryan: Ok, so you’re saying that CSR has an element of consumer demand? HR Manager: Yes, definitely consumer demand. Ryan: So there is this element of consumer demand. Would you say it works on both corporate and social level? HR Manager: Yes. Ryan: Ok. So it results in new business. Any other organizational benefits? Right now we have perceptual, reputation, financial, and new business. HR Manager: Employees. Ryan: Staff. A1ttract the right candidates. Ok, anything else? HR Manager: No. Ryan: So we’ve got benefits to the organization. We’ve got financial, new business, HR, which with the attraction of new candidates, organizational benefits, perceptual, reputation. HR Manager: Yes, the PR. Ryan: Those link perceptual appearance? HR Manager: Yes. When you say a new business, do you mean a new financial business, or new business meaning a customer’s new business? Ryan: Yes that’s right. Is there anything else? There are no right or wrong answers. Now, what caused you to adopt this viewpoint? What I mean, what things helped to forge that these things are perceived as the benefits? HR Manager: I don’t suppose there’s only one thing really. Kind of working for, in particular for the Major UK Retail Centre. Because of the culture and the company’s philosophy right from before the centre’s opening. It’s not all about me, me, me although we do have a close eye on costs and all the key indicators that we need to keep an eye on that show our business objectives. We sort of developed between us, I think, quite a nice approach of contributing back into the community through various challenges. Ryan: So you kind of developed those to help achieve those objectives? HR Manager: Yes Ryan: Your experiences here have helped and the work you’re doing to achieve those organizational objectives? HR Manager: Although we’re keeping an eye on the organizational objectives, we’re also very conscious about the impact of that on the environment and the whole of people. Ryan: Again, we have a kind of perception of how other people see it but also that social responsibility where there are important organizational objectives. But it is also weighing those organizational objectives versus impacts. So CSR is definitely not a one way thing, it has to be sometimes a give and take. So you imagine that CSR is a two-way process? HR Manager: Yes. Ryan: Society’s wants and organizational wants against each other. Ok. Other than those are there any other places or any other experiences that are forged that come in to CSR? HR Manager: Yes, things you read in the paper, the television, the magazines that you buy, recycling. Ryan: Ok, so Mass media. Why do you recycle? HR Manager: We do this for ages, probably because of things we heard. Ryan: What have you heard?

106

HR Manager: I can’t think of an actual trigger, although for a long time now we try to recycle as much as possible. I think our local council encouraged it at the time for householders to recycle newspapers. They came and collected them on a regular basis. Ryan: Ok so we have the element of government? HR Manager: Yes. Ryan: We also have there the element of your own desire? HR Manager: Yes own desire. Ryan: Own desire and lifestyle. So from a contributing view point your personal lifestyle outlook? HR Manager: Yes, recycling and then also the bottles. Ryan: Would you say then that your personal lifestyle outlook is an attribute of CSR? There seems to be an aspect of individuality? Do you agree with that? HR Manager: I think that within a big organization. I suppose an aspect of individuality is more difficult. But with an organizational lifestyle like the Major UK Retail Centre we are our own managers. Head of HR, you know sort of rolling out programs, so there is a large aspect, although, I’ve never really thought about the fact that bottles, or my gardening adjustment. I’m very conscious and all the publicity with holes in the ozone layer and. Ryan: Why do these things weigh on you? Obviously it’s a personal choice. Why do you perceive that it is important at all? Cause obviously you do. Why at the end of the day do you perceive it to be important? HR Manager: I believe that things must be recycled, like old clothes and I have been doing that for quite a few years, but it’s a concept really that bothers me. Ryan: I see that bothers you. Why don’t you think it bothers other people? HR Manager: I’m not sure about that. Possibly because other people haven’t got the same attitude, or maybe haven’t got the facilities to make charity shops or whatever. Ryan: So CSR to a point it depends again on .. It’s weighing society against organizational? Let’s move on. Can you tell me a bit about this viewpoint that you talked about. How does the Major UK Retail Centre put CSR to practice? So we have the development officer. HR Manager: That’s Alison’s role. She is the community development officer. Ryan: Ok. And you mentioned that management puts it into practice quite a lot. HR Manager: Practically putting CSR into practice is the kind of thing that we do. Ryan: But you can do that by management? HR Manager: Yes. Ryan: Ok. HR Manager: We also encourage ideas from our staff. Ryan: Is there any relationship to that, so is it management driven? HR Manager: Not necessarily some staff have some very good ideas. Ryan: ok so it’s driven by both. HR Manager: In fact, just recently in our staff awards a couple of staff have been rewarded for coming up with an idea for something we had problems with. They came up with an idea about getting some committees on site to help re educate those that were in a delinquent status and it worked very, very well. So that was an idea that staff thought of, came up with an idea we implemented, I put it into practice and it worked. Ryan: And you also said you have an environmental policy, and the charities committee. Anything else? HR Manager: Alison’s role is a bit more detailed on the education side of things. Alison in particular either visits schools or has schools coming here to find out more about the Major UK Retail Centre. Obviously there are benefits for the individuals as well at no cost to them. And schools and any other organization that, sort of, may be interested. Ryan: So we have consultations. What kind of responsibilities legislative and legal would you describe as being tied up with CSR? HR Manager: Certainly on the employment legislation side of things, we have friendly policies. Ryan: So kind of an HR and employment law. Ok.

107

HR Manager: Legislation, which roots back to travel and transport, which hasn’t been mentioned as yet. The Major UK Retail Centre has a travel, transport, or group travel we talked about. They have corporate element but also social element. Ryan: So you have a policy, a transport plan. Anything else you can think of? So we have welfare, driven by staff and management, dedicated community, development manager, education, visiting schools, you meeting legislative and legal responsibilities, HR employment, travel and transport, which you have a separate policy on, agreed transport plan, your family/friendly policies, consultations.. HR Manager: And communication to all of the people that we are actually doing this for. Ryan:. We’ve talked about that to a point, we’ll do more of that explicitly, but with which stakeholders and we’ll start by listing these activities under CSR specifically related? HR Manager: Our employees, stakeholders of the Retail centre in the financial sense of the word stakeholders. Ryan: And whom would you describe there for instance? HR Manager: The members of the board and shareholders. Charities, local community, and other organizations who we interact with. Ryan: Such as? HR Manager: Like the environmental policy we can’t operate that alone, we need to interact with other organizations, like ‘the big waste’ organization for example. Ryan: So that would be kind of suppliers then? HR Manager: The travel and transport part we couldn’t operate that alone, we need to interact with the large bus companies, GMPT for example. Ryan: The hired to travel transport. HR Manager: We have other community things, the education. Ryan: Is there any of these stakeholders that you need to further break up? Or are there any major ones you’d add? Is there any other major headings of people you deal with? HR Manager: Under employees you have third party contractors. Local government and national, local business communities. Ryan: Anything else? HR Manager: No, not really. Ryan: So would we break down these ones at all or is it kind of the complete stakeholder view. I mean for some of them we have, like government local and national, and financial we have the members of the board and shareholders, business community, schools, we have the main heading you wanted to put. So next question. Which of the Trafford stakeholders would you say are involved in the operatlinization of CSR? HR Manager: The employees, some elements of the local business community, customers. Ryan: Which customers? HR Manager: Again those with the genuine interest. Ryan: Why would you say those with genuine interest? HR Manager: I would imagine that there are customers who don’t fully understand and appreciate the work that the Major UK Retail Centre does. Everyone in the financial stakeholders, relevant government departments local and national, are some examples. We helped to invite CNBC’s recently to identify some needs, towards environmental policy, national government, national employment committee. One of the objectives is to encourage and train people who are long term unemployed or who have particular difficulties in getting jobs. To encourage training programs for those people and get them into employment. Ryan: Any other ones? HR Manager: Nothing at the moment Ryan: Any other stakeholders? HR Manager: Third party contracts in helping to deliver and retailers again in helping to deliver and trying to encourage them on board. Ryan: So this is delivery then. HR Manager: Bus companies, but they also have their own policies like travel plans. As do the local government have their own and national government have their own green travel policies. We then are to encouraged to develop our own policies. Ryan: Any other stakeholders?

108

HR Manager: Charities. Ryan: Any charities come to mind? HR Manager: Kate has about 2 or 3 charities that we have for the charity of the year. Ryan: What about suppliers and local community? Are they CSR proactive, are they involved in the operalization? HR Manager: Yes, and some of them have their own environmental policies which we also apply to. Ryan: The next question is why does the Trafford put CSR into practice? HR Manager: Wanting to develop all of that, but those are the benefits that we get out of it. Ryan: So welfare, environmental policy, and dedication to the community. So would you say that these benefits that we have here are the same benefits that you’re looking to achieve but why? HR Manager: Not necessarily not for doing it. Those benefits are the results of implementing the policy. Ryan: So there is this element of these benefits then in what you’re saying that there is… HR Manager: The desire for the Major UK Retail Centre and I suppose again PR comes in, but the desire is to be seen to be doing the right thing. Ryan: Why do you need to be seen to be doing this? HR Manager: It’s a the result of government policies, and procedures and individuals feelings about preserving the environment and developing all these issues that we talked about. Ryan: So you need to be seen to be doing the things that make up CSR and that’s because of government pressures and individual pressures? HR Manager: Yes, company culture. Ryan: And individuals? HR Manager: Customer pressure. Ryan: Would you say that customer pressure is individual, because individuals are customers? HR Manager: Yes. Ryan: I mean why do you listen to one individual? HR Manager: They might have a perfectly brilliant idea on how the company could. Ryan: But does one customer drive a policy, is that your viewpoint? HR Manager: Possibly, but not necessarily drive a policy. But they may contribute to developing that policy. If they came up with a really good idea or somebody mentioned a particular aspect on what we’re doing then we would have a look at it. It’s something that the Major UK Retail Centre wants to get involved in. Ryan: If it was costly would you do it for one person or would you it for 100? HR Manager: Are we talking about customers or employees? Ryan: Individuals. I thought you meant individuals or society? I’m starting to get this feeling that when you say about individuals and customer pressures, there is this feeling I’m getting there, there’s this element of CSR, is this of societal expectations? Because you say benefits but you do it because you try to achieve these attributes and pressures, legal and legislative? I’m trying to look at what’s the force that has formed these attributes? HR Manager: If we go back to Alison Reid then, in her role of community development manager, that wasn’t her role when she started working in the Major UK Retail Centre, that wasn’t her job title, but was part of her development under the Major UK Retail Centre. Her job title was changed. She reflects the majority of what she got involved in, most of management team operate or work very closely as part of the team, there isn’t any head office that tells us what to do. Alison in particular has forged a fantastic liaison with educational committees, local community groups to develop the whole corporate and community development within the Major UK Retail Centre. An awful lot, a massive contribution to the individual. Ryan: I’m stressing what the corporate responsibility is, the expectations of different societal things being fulfilled. Is that how the community development manager defines societal expectation? To be responsible towards the community? HR Manager: Yes ok Ryan: I keep getting the feeling that in some cases we’re talking about the individual but in some cases you meant that there was a societal pressure.

109

HR Manager: Kate will be able to tell you more details about this about the history, but there was a lot of negative publicity about the Major UK Retail Centre. This was right from its members of the board and people in place at the time to turn the whole thing on its head. There was a lot of negativity around. It affected retailers in Manchester city center and the local communities around. So, the members of the board put a different PR spin on that and said absolutely not, we believe the Major UK Retail Centre will further reinforce Manchester and greater Manchester, and will be a visit destination and an attraction to the area. Ryan: So CSR practice was reactionary? HR Manager: Probably yes. So we continue to sort of have that positive approach. Ryan: To which of these stakeholders does the Major UK Retail Centre communicate it’s CSR definition, the definition though it’s not explicit, it’s activities and its expected or achieved results? HR Manager: You are right it’s not explicit, I think communication could be better, but we do communicate it to our employees, to elements of the local business community, Ryan: Which elements would you say? HR Manager: If we can maybe just go back to link examples together. I’m on the national employment panel, regeneration of jobs for people who have been unemployed for a length of time. I will then sort of reiterate my role and what I’m doing to various networking, HR networks for example. Our travel and transport plan I know we have gone out to the business community. Ryan: So let’s see who you communicate with. We have employees, local businesses, members of the transport that you communicate with transport, who else do you communicate with? HR Manager: Customers, obviously members of the board, stakeholders and shareholders, local and national government with what we’re doing, and third party contractors and retailers and suppliers, and the local community and charity. Some of them are a bit more detailed. Ryan: So how does this communication manifest itself? SIDE B HR Manager: Right let’s go for employees, it’s the easiest one, through our induction process, we have regular team briefings, meetings, with these kind of issues we discussed, training, general day to day work is communicated in the way that we do, website … Ryan: What do you communicate in these? HR Manager: In the team briefings, or the management meetings? Ryan: All the various things, what do you communicate in them? HR Manager: General business operations with specific reference to CSR? Ryan: With specific reference to CSR? HR Manager: Alison told us recently how many people, how many students have been on school visits to the Centre. Ryan: So community activities? HR Manager: Yes. Alison just recently communicated results about recycling Ryan: So would you say that CSR is measurable then? HR Manager: Yes recycling is. Ryan: So an attribute of CSR is that it measurable then? HR Manager: I think yes to some extend. Ryan: Anything else? In terms of what do you communicate as far as CSR is concerned? HR Manager: Business activities, how many work experienced students we had, we communicate that which is going back to education. Our environmental policy, travel and transport policy, and also questions for retailers to help identify how we implement policies in particular, practical elements like… Ryan: So with employees you have a questionnaire? HR Manager: To comment on policies, health and safety on both corporate and social responsibility, meeting legislative requirements as well. Ryan: Is it just meeting them or is it more?

110

HR Manager: It’s more. It’s being proactive and taking preventive action. Ryan: So you say that legislative has a meeting element, of going beyond? Is that HS or is it CSR as a whole? HR Manager: The Major UK Retail Centre do quite a lot beyond. Ryan: But your viewpoint. Do you perceive CSR being going beyond legislative or do you perceive CSR as just legislative? HR Manager: Going beyond. Ryan: How do you communicate to the local community? HR Manager: By Alison Ryan: What does Alison communicate? HR Manager: She goes to various committee meetings or the local communities come here and visit the Major UK Retail Centre. We have a various number of local community groups coming in to the Centre, via the various networking groups that most of the management team are on, HR for example. Ryan: How you are communicating to the local business community? HR Manager: By the website again. Ryan: So stakeholders, how are you communicating with them? HR Manager: We have an info pack which goes to all employees and anybody else word for word, everyone can go on the website as well. Ryan: So you have an info pack or an induction pack? Or is it the same thing? HR Manager: Actually it’s the same thing. Annual reports and website Ryan: Any other ways? HR Manager: An annual AGM for shareholders, board members meetings on a regular basis. On the government side of things there are formal reports you have to complete. Ryan: So formal reports? HR Manager: Yes Ryan: In the annual report what are you communicating? HR Manager: I don’t know. Sorry Ryan: No, this is part of the process. HR Manager: On the Internet all the educational side of things Ryan: AGM? HR Manager: I don’t know. Ryan: The formal reports. What do you communicate in that? HR Manager: Activities and results. Ryan: What kind of results? HR Manager: The kinds of reports I see are on number of vacancies, whether business and vacancies are filled down, number of vacancies. Number of people recruited for employment. Ryan: So HR information, ok. Third party contractors, how are you communicating with them? HR Manager: I’m not sure there. Ryan: But you’re sure there is communication? HR Manager: I suppose with each individual manager, the sort of liaising with the contractors. Ryan: Retailers?

111

HR Manager: Various memos distributed, we also have a retailers board, for example if I wanted to get people for an environmental committee, cause many of the retailers are possible… Ryan: So communicating environmentally? HR Manager: Charities committee we have representatives for the charities committee we also have a retail forum, Ryan: Transport? HR Manager: Again in case of retailers we communicate by the forum, also we have questionnaires Ryan: The transport companies, what are you communicating to them? HR Manager: Travel plan. Ryan: How are you communicating that? HR Manager: Gloria, is our travel transport coordinator. She organizes committees and communicates by those committees what we’re doing. Ryan: Here they do committees but in North America the committee process is very different. It’s through discussive and integrated forms. HR Manager: Gloria has been with us 6 months now and she is being very proactive in trying to get more public transport to the Major UK Retail Centre mainly for potential workers and existing workers. And she’s been working with local government departments and actions committee, which is part of job center, and between them they’ve organized something from an area of high unemployment, it’s not ready yet but it’s almost there. So that’s part of the corporate responsibility. Ryan: Suppliers, how are you communicating? HR Manager: Again, I’m not sure we have the third party contracts on that one. Ryan: Local community? HR Manager: When they come in to the center or Alison goes out, or representatives of the center go out to talk about various issues. These kind of things. So we have for an example, a teacher placement day coming up, and the objective of that is to communicate what we do to teachers to get a handle on what’s new and open, so I can go back and relate it to the students. Ryan: So communicating to educational staff? HR Manager: Part of that is communicating the environmental policy, Allison’s role and other people’s roles within the organization. Ryan: So communicating roles. How does Alison communicating? HR Manager: Verbally Ryan: And to charities? HR Manager: Another committee, there are charity members. Ryan: So again is it verbal communication? HR Manager: Yes Ryan: And what are you communicating? HR Manager: Campaigns, our impact on those charities. We review the charities on a regular basis. Also, inviting applications from charities we haven’t supported before. Ryan: What do you perceive to be the benefits of this communication? We’re going back now. Do you perceive these to be what made it good or do you also perceive that these are the benefits of the Major UK Retail Centre? Now about making contributions to the environment and communicating these to the community. What are the benefits of this communication? You said why you are doing it? HR Manager: Not only for the benefits but also communicating because of the responsibility to communicate to all of our stakeholders Ryan: So there is responsibility communicated? HR Manager: Yes to tell all of our stakeholders what we are doing, why we’re doing it, the impact on the business, and individuals …I don’t understand the question

112

Ryan: What are the benefits of it? Why are you communicating it? What do you perceive to be the benefits to the Major UK Retail Centre of communicating this information? Let’s talk about the question. I mean why does the Major UK Retail Centre communicate this CSR, because you have to or is it a desire? HR Manager: Because we have to Ryan: So it’s a requirement, so required for everyone, for the government? For financial and business HR Manager: Yes Ryan: Are there any requirements for you to communicate these things to your employees or is it a desire? HR Manager: There is a legal requirement to consultations with employees Ryan: So we have legal requirement of consultation. Ok. Anything other than what is legally required to communicate or is everyone else a desire? HR Manager: I think it’s a desire Ryan: Ok. Out of these communications … let’s go stakeholder by stakeholder What do you perceive to be the benefits of that communication? We will start with employees and look at the benefits. HR Manager: They also have a desire to know. Ryan: Now I want to know what are the tangible benefits and what are the intangible benefits that you perceive the Major UK Retail Centre gets out of communicating CSR activities and CSR to employees? HR Manager: Increased moral, low staff turnover, ideas from staff, I suppose everything is not just profit, profit, profit. The employees can see that we along with them are giving back to the community Part of our philosophy is teamwork and a lot of it involves doing just this to implement. Ryan: Anything else? HR Manager: It positively relates the information to customers, it might encourage them to think again. Ryan: Why are you communicating CSR? HR Manager: To be seen to be doing the right thing Ryan: So perception. You perceive the perceptual benefit. HR Manager: Leadership of implementing the various policies to the charities committee. Ryan: Ok so perceptual leadership. HR Manager: Again acceptance within the local business community because of their activities, we put the contribution back. Ryan: So do you gain support of the activities to achieve business objectives? HR Manager: We gain acceptance and they are possibly positively thinking of us within the local business community. Helping to gain acceptance. Positive feedback, increase of customers, possibly to change the negative perception to positive perception because of the activities and positive word of mouth. Ryan: Financial stakeholders? HR Manager: Simply increasing business potential. Ryan: What are the benefits you receive from them? Why are you communicating your CSR activities to them? If you don’t know it’s ok. HR Manager: With financial stakeholders we want to know what the Major UK Retail Centre is doing in that respect. Ryan: That’s your expectations but why are you communicating it? HR Manager: Same as with the customers really Ryan: Government? HR Manager: Some elements have to be communicated to the government, the meeting of meeting targets and criteria. If the government set targets, for example, the green travel plan Ryan: What’s the benefit of hitting a target?

113

HR Manager: Probably not to get penalized financially. There are financial penalties. Ryan: So a benefit is not getting penalized. Transport partners? HR Manager: I don’t know. I know why we communicate to our retailers, having them buy into our philosophy and they also like the third party help us to deliver what we wanted to deliver. Ryan: So assistance of objectives. Anything else? HR Manager: The ultimate philosophy the Major UK Retail Centre has. Ryan: Transport partners, why do you communicate with them the benefits? HR Manager: I’m not sure. Ryan: What are the benefits of communicating the green travel plan? HR Manager: They also have a corporate and social responsibility in terms of adopting the green travel plan. Ryan: I mean benefits to you, Why are you spending money going to committee and time resources? HR Manager: They also have ideas, some of the people have been there before. We are very new in that respect. It’s to pick up ideas. Ryan: So you are gaining new ideas from them. HR Manager: Qualifications of good legislation, also networking with people in similar roles in other organizations, gain ideas for a new launch. Ryan: Suppliers? We will take that one as the same HR Manager: Local community is the same one as here. Ryan: What are the benefits of communicating that? HR Manager: All of these people are stakeholders, and the benefits of that they need to know.. Ryan: What are the benefits to the Major UK Retail Centre? HR Manager: Feedback and positive word of mouth by the charity committee. Ryan: Why do you believe these are the benefits? HR Manager: It’s an actual fact. Ryan: If it is fact, how do you know it’s a fact? What makes it factual and how is it factual? HR Manager: Some of the ideas that the employees have help assist some elements of CSR, low turnover, intuitively and the moral. Ryan: Is there anything other than the fact that you know you got ideas and benefits, feedback is received that’s a fact. HR Manager: Increasing people into the Centre. Ryan: Do you know for a fact that it is tied to CSR? Other than those two perceived as benefits, is there anything that you know for sure that’s a benefit or is the majority of that intuitive? HR Manager: Intuitive Ryan: Ok we’re done. Thank you

114

CSR – Mres Major UK Retail Centre Interview two: Ryan Bowd – Marketing Manager ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SIDE A Ryan: First question “Does the Major UK Retail Centre have an explicit definition of Corporate Social Responsibility. If yes what is it?” Marketing Manager: I’ll say no to that answer Ryan: “What does the term CSR mean to you”? Marketing Manager: Ok well I’ll bring it down to a very sort of brief statement of what I think it means to me. I think CSR is the responsibility of the company to protect and care for its stakeholders. Although I think, that includes the health and safety of its consumers, retailers and employees. The great development and training of its staff and the current support of it’s consumers, retailers, employees and the community. Ryan: So according to you, responsibility, CSR is an organization's responsibility to stakeholders. Marketing Manager: Yes Ryan: Ok. Marketing Manager: Yes, I said it includes the health and safety of its consumers, because obviously these are the people that are shopping in our building. The retailers, including the staff, employees. But also I feel that an important part of that responsibility is the development and training of its staff and also the care and support towards its consumers again, retailers, employees and the general community. Ryan: So you bring all that to the health and safety of stakeholders Marketing Manager: Yes. Ryan: Development and training of staff? Marketing Manager: Yes, care and support, which you know, could mean a variety of things. Ryan: What kind of things care and support of stakeholders? What kind of things would you say that could mean? Marketing Manager: In terms of whom? Would these be the consumers, the retailers, the employees or the community? Ryan: Any of them really Marketing Manager: For the health and safety? Ryan: Care and support. I mean in terms of care and support. Marketing Manager: It’s everything that we do, is an example for consumers Ryan: So CSR is everything an organization does? So it relates to everything in an organization? Marketing Manager: The responsibility of an organization. Yes Ryan: Ok. Marketing Manager: So for instance, with the consumers we look at their security supervision and make sure that they are safe. Ryan: Ok so security supervision Marketing Manager: Yes, and services supervision. So in terms of ensuring the purchase is more than just meeting their service requirements as we look to exceed that. Ryan: So you would say it’s almost products and services that exceed. Marketing Manager: Yes, cause we don’t have products as such. We are a building you know and the retailers obviously have their own services, products and prices but as a building we implement services, for instance, we’ve got, the shop ability, the central solutions unit. Ryan: So services have gone beyond expectations Marketing Manager: Yes and listening to customers. Doing the research, I think, is an important element of CSR.

115

Ryan: Shop ability. Marketing Manager: Yes, the creched children, the toilets in terms having children’s facilities, which means changing rooms, the individually sized toilets for small children, I think part of that is the cleanliness and it gives an important service factor. People feel that they are in a clean environment. Services include things like the customer services desks, and the fact that we’ve got a wide number of staff in them, in a way that they are visible, in red coats. People have a feeling of safety here, because they know about the customer services desks, they know they can get a wide range of information there. We can help even in terms of state provision. The fact that we can call on a back up staff that has been trained not just for basics but in an advanced state. So, we can handle any situation that may occur within a shop, or within the surrounding perimeter of the center. We can instantly call on an advanced staff member to attend and then soon after that we will call the ambulance service, but that might mean saving somebody’s life. Ryan: So what you mentioned is listening to your stakeholders Marketing Manager: Yes, very important. Ryan: So CSR is about communicating but also if we’re listening to our stakeholders I guess we’re listening to their expectations. So there is an element of meeting expectations in CSR. Marketing Manager: We’re looking not to simply meet their requirements but look to exceed their requirements. Ryan: Ok. So exceeding expectations of stakeholders. Are there other things that you see as characteristics and attributes of CSR? Marketing Manager: Everything. The supporting of the community, care and support of the community. I see that in terms of the community opportunities we have available. One of them I suppose is the fact that we can employ a vast amount of people from the local community. We are a major employer within the Northwest. We have 7,000 people employed in the Major UK Retail Centre. When we first opened we actually worked very close with the local council and all the job centers to try and look on unemployment black spots. Actually looked at providing training, to actually leading them to get back to work, and even now continuously we are working with the council and job centers to recruit people and develop and train them. In terms of employment, that’s a huge community benefit that we provide. And we have concentrated within those unemployment blackspots. Also, I think of community in terms of general community support we provide in terms of charities that we support. We support local charities through the fund. We select 4 different charities each year to benefit from all the money coming through the fundings. We go through a very stringent application process. Although we have a committee in place, we do the research with customers. We say which charity is most likely to benefit from it like with children’s or the albany or people with disabilities. Ryan: Sorry to stop you there, but we are still looking at the question what attributes or characteristics you believe that CSR, not necessarily how the Major UK Retail Centre manifests it, so what personally do you think that CSR is? Marketing Manager: Well obviously what I have already said Ryan: Would you describe CSR as a good thing or a bad thing? Marketing Manager: Very good thing. Ryan: Well, why would you say it’s a good thing? Marketing Manager: Because, it generates…well the thing is we are a business. It’s a relationship you have with all your stakeholders which ensures that your business remains or is profitable. So, therefore by incorporating the implementing elements of CSR then you are, I feel, generating a positive perception of your brand. I think it enhances brand infinity and loyalty to the brand by enhancing the reputation of the brand and obviously increased loyalty means increased vivids. This means increased and overall profitability and not just for all the retailers who are part of our stakeholder mix, but also for the company who own the Major UK Retail Centre as well and to all their shareholders. Ryan: So would you say that CSR has profitability in its attributes? Marketing Manager: Yes Ryan: Ok and then I think you also raised that CSR is about reconciling your contract with society that enables…. So would you say that CSR is about fulfilling a contract with stakeholders so that gives you a license to operate? Marketing Manager: Yes Ryan: ok. CSR is a good thing towards positive brand perception, which builds reputation, which helps build and increase loyalty, which helps increase usage and increase spending. Marketing Manager: But there’s also something beyond that. Yes retention., That includes our staff retention as well. That’s really in terms of the consumer. That’s it’s motivation and if they are a well motivated staff then hopefully they will give us very good service. Better service to the consumer which then goes back to reputation service. Everything else is part of the service mix that the consumers receive. And then your other stakeholders are your retailers. CSR is obviously a good thing there because if the retailers are more successful then you’re likely to retain them, and obviously if you are retaining your retailers then you know, they’re paying the rent, the service charge which is all related back to profitability. Ryan: So retaining your retailers with increased loyalty Marketing Manager: But also with retailers. Well I’ll go into this as we go along but As you know, we offer a lot of training for retailers such as the fair trading which we’ll talk about later. That also means that we are getting involved with our retailers again

116

which leads them to providing a better service to the consumers. Ryan: Are there any other kind of benefits, other than things with loyalty, with staff, increased loyalty for retailers and consumers. Are there any other places that you see benefits of CSR making a good thing? Marketing Manager: In addition to that. Your reputation of how you conduct the business becomes known amongst the business sector. This could bring business to you. For instance, businesses that are stakeholders in different terms means that we might sell a space to an arbitrator. Or we might sell that space to promoters. People responsible for that space will get an identity of how the Centre operates with respect to CSR and then if the reputation is building up further then it might create more interest towards the Centre in terms of business relationships. Ryan: Ok so it comes back as increased spending through that one. Marketing Manager: Yes in a sense. And then there’s also, you know, Peel Holdings to the landlords of that brand. If you look at that map up there that’s the land that they own along the Manchester ship canal throughout the whole Northwest, Major UK Retail Centre is just tiny. But if we can set a good example the Major UK Retail Centre for Peel then it can have positive effect for Peel. They have a lot of planning applications in place, for all sorts of mixed use development around the whole of the NorthWest. If the Major UK Retail Centre can set a good example that would surely help in terms of their future planning and development. Ryan: So you see upstream benefits for Peel? Marketing Manager: To Peel yes Ryan: What court do you adopt, I mean personally you that..? Marketing Manager: I thought this was quite a hard question I have to say Ryan: What caused you personally to adopt this point of view of CSR? Obviously because of the fact the Major UK Retail Centre doesn’t have an explicit view? Marketing Manager: Well I work in marketing, and I understand business profitability through communicating key advantages the Centre has. It’s part of my role. It’s part of what I have developed my whole career within marketing and PR so I understand the benefits that customer relationship, management or the way you communicate your brand and affinity to the brand and loyalty to the brand and what that leads to. You know I understand the benefits that brings. Ryan: So it’s your industry knowledge of PR that gives you the strategy? Marketing Manager: Yes and my experience and the career I am in really that helps me. You know I’m a big ,big believer in it and I think sometimes it takes something to do with this but trying to convince a board of directors who are all sorts of financially and planning and development minded, to try and get them understand its just not only their area its quite a challenge really! Ryan: Are there other things other than your career experience in the industry that sort of help? Marketing Manager: Common sense. leads me to things. you know, its like if I’m going to a shop I use my own examples. If I think they’re giving me a good service and I feel that I’ve been cared for then I know through my own experience, purchasing something that I will be loyal to that specific brand Ryan: So, common sense and life experiences? Marketing Manager: Yes. Experiences through the Major UK Retail Centre. When you know that through an experience, such as responding to an e-mail inquiry to a customer in a certain way. The response they get and as a consequence they tell you in what a brilliant way we handled it. I know through experience Ryan: Common sense. Well why do you hold this viewpoint, and this perception of common sense? Why don’t other people? You’ve had experiences but you’ve chosen to take this viewpoint out of those experiences? Why haven’t you chosen to hold the character of the viewpoint of possibly spending money needlessly? Or is what you’re doing any good? What part of you or what elements have helped you to take this viewpoint? Marketing Manager: It’s like the relationships you have with people. Some people adopt different philosophies and different principles. I guess that I have certain principles Ryan: So it’s personal principles and philosophies. Would you say that it is an individual moral ethical choice there? Marketing Manager: As well as through….I know that the people who have had experiences who change their perception. Although though my experience of being here, I see different elements. It’s actually a good experience seeing how it happens first hand. It goes along with my own principle. It is if I can give them a bad service somewhere then I have bad principles. So, well yes to a certain degree it’s manners. The way you’re brought up has probably certain influences. There must be reasons why one, for example, has a very lazy attitude and don’t really care. And I think that’s because that’s the way they are. Maybe it is a part of the way they’ve been brought up. Good question really! Ryan: So we have bits of upbringing, personal experience, your personal principles and the professional experiences Marketing Manager: My own experience Ryan: Would you say, I heard you say about upbringing that its, I mean your industry experiences and your career experiences and your upbringing all had different societal group influences

117

Marketing Manager: Yes I have a very wide…yes Ryan: So what are the things, or what would you say that it’s to a point society has helped shape these images? Shaped this viewpoint or would you say its individual? Marketing Manager: Both Ryan: Well we touched upon those attribute. So would you say that CSR has a characteristic or attribute of individuality? Marketing Manager: I don’t quite understand what you mean! Ryan: Well I mean. Looking at those attributes so that CSR is meeting or exceeding expectations and the profitability, communication, care and support of stakeholders, as soon as they go above and beyond, we have a contract with society. But would you say that there is a characteristic or attribute of CSR there’s also a characteristic of individuality? Marketing Manager: What do you mean an individuality? Ryan: I can’t say that. How you had your point shaped, well I’m interested in you telling me if CSR has a characteristic of individuality? Marketing Manager: I think that when you work within a certain company and a certain philosophy, there is a certain way that people are. I don’t think you’re just an individual, I think that your experiences influence you. Well mine at the Major UK Retail Centre do because I’m working in the Major UK Retail Centre. You do have people who are practicing in whatever way, you know, in CSR. Well they go out of their way to help the customer and that’s just part of the culture of the Major UK Retail Centre. I don’t know where it came from or comes from where it’s adopted but I certainly think for me individually, I believe that that philosophy is right Ryan: But for characteristics your saying that utility is more organizational rather than individual? Marketing Manager: It has to be organizational. It’s the whole organization that has to respond to a CSR strategy. And its individuals within that organization that need to aspire to it not just one person Ryan: How does the Major UK Retail Centre put CSR into practice? Marketing Manager: Well, again cause it has so many different stakeholders it’s put into practice in different ways with different stakeholders. So, for instance, if you are looking at staff, which probably have got a lot of a stake. Ryan: Go into it because I’m interested in what you think individually. To draw on what you think, not as a company. Marketing Manager: The Retail centre invests very heavily in training for staff, so staff is a major stakeholder. You know the reasons why I think staff is a very important element of the stakeholder mix. For instance there is a very through interviewee process. The actual recruitment and selection process, which is a very done in a very fair way, however whatever HR policies there are in terms of recruitment and selection, I think what they do is very fair. Ryan: So a fair recruitment policy Marketing Manager: There is absolutely no discrimination on age. We employ I don’t know how many people aged over 60. There’s absolutely no discriminative sort of policy with regards to race. And in fact the mix is very, very wide. Ryan: Within the recruitment policy are there targets for any criteria that you need? Marketing Manager: We are credited investors in people. Ryan: What I mean, for age groups or for different racial do you meet targets? Marketing Manager: Yes. We exceed the government policies. Ryan: Is that unethical? Marketing Manager: What do you mean is that unethical? We don’t go out of our way, we actually treat everyone person as any individual. But as a consequence we actually have exceeded Ryan: It’s a good question. One thing I always ask to that question is it ethical? Do you hire to meet those headquarters? Marketing Manager: Well once we’re through with the recruitment and selection and the interview process then they have a week, I think it’s a 5 day induction, and this is what they get, I thought this as an example. We go through the induction which 5 days and all this various training. They have obviously the basic training but, people are given well composed customer service philosophy, treating people in the right way and they go through basic health and safety training. Also they go through an introduction of the team and the people. Then they can go on to hear about other training opportunities that they can be rewarded with. You know, they can apply for specialty training within security. There are a huge number of training opportunities for people within the security area, whether it be police training, or in terms of undercover operation . You’ve got fire training, you’ve got first aid options, you have advanced first aid options. Also in the area of cleaning there are special courses There’s special training for staff, even in terms of marketing like my profession. My team will go through every year, a review to decide if there’s further training needed that they wish to have. As an employer, I think that training provides for excellent staff and it’s a good motivation factor. We have various schemes. We have the bright ideas scheme where we invite staff to come up with ideas. It’s their idea that’s implemented and they are rewarded with some kind of offer. All the participants’ names go into a big final draw and someone gets a holiday of 1,000 pounds. There are a lot of incentives and I think it makes them feel part of the management team. They can also, if they want to, get

118

involved in divisions. So that’s the staff’s involvement. There’s the community side. We support the community through the work of Alison, the community center manager. She invites schools to come in and have a big educational element. This helps a lot of local schools in terms of their activities. These can be either what they are studying, or they can do practical experience with the Major UK Retail Centre. I don’t know how many schools we have every month. She invites probably 60 or 70 schools and colleges, and educational bodies. She’s developed packs for teachers that they can use for study practice. We encourage a lot of students to come and work here, like placement schemes, which are hugely beneficial to, the career development of the individual himself. We do student interviews. We provide information packs, which is not just simply been put together. It’s very comprehensive. It gives you all the history, the design, architecture and the construction of the area, the shop opening hours, the philosophy, the management approach, team work, communication, how we work in the management, training packages, recruitment, customer services. That’s quite a comprehensive package information and which I know students applaud. The charity I mentioned… Ryan: I will pause you there for a second. I can tell you are prepared… Marketing Manager: I was! Ryan: Charities? Marketing Manager: We support local charities that I mentioned previously. This includes funds, sponsorships and projects. We always provide gift checks, prizes to help sports bodies. In the past we supported a sort of award scheme at a local school. They have a series of things to meet in a yearly period, a whole trimester. At the end of that we give awards and checks. We supported the whole project. Another one was a sports project, football clubs, of very low cost. We happily funded, a youth development squad for rugby, you know a lot of sporting and educational bodies. Again I feel we put CSR into practice on the community side. I did mention health and safety cause that is an important area really. The Major UK Retail Centre has in place a very, very stringent health and safety policy. You know it’s a huge building, with a huge number of stakeholders and many consumers that can be here in any one day. We want to obviously ensure that we operate in a health and safety environment. So in terms of how we implement that, with our own staff, again that’s incorporated in all the induction, with specific training for security officers. We give training for any potential threat but also with our retailers have to apply certain policies. We ensure for example basic fire safety issues. We also provide roll out training if they need to take it further. And with our own staff, in terms of consumers, they might not be aware of all the various health and safety legislation that’s in place. It’s a fine line between making them feel that potentially anything can happen here but you don’t want to give them that feeling. You want to make them feel safe and at peace. We know that we have in place a very strict policy but its not just that we do a rigid assessment in every piece of operation that we do in the Centre. Every single supplier coming in doing work on the side has to go through risk assessment or they won’t be allowed to do that work. It’s even with photography and filming, in terms of cables and wires, it all has to be assessed for potential hazardous issues. Customer issues, which you know how we put into practice We are the only Centre in the whole of the UK, as far as we know, that have in place fair trading. We have worked in conjunction with Trafford Metropolitan Council, and a specific fair trading officer to encourage retailers to be fair traders. This means if a retailer has an issue with a specific, if a customer has a specific issue with a retailer, in terms of price returns or whatever, then if the have r retailer has agreed to fair trading. They have received training, as all the staff received training, from the fair trading officer. For the consumer they have something in the particular store to show they signed up. And now we have a big over 90% that signed up to fair-trading and it’s independent advisor. So if there are issues between a customer and a retailer then the Major UK Retail Centre has an independent body who will try to resolve the issue and to ensure that the retailer complies, or if the customer has been seeking too much. If the retailer is right then there’s the independent advisor. But we feel that it gives certain people, you know, customers, it’s a good thing to have and we communicate that in a leaflet that’s contained at the desk and the staff are all briefed, and the customer services staff are all having to be trained in fair trading. That’s for all of the staff not just for the staff that work at the customer services desk. It is voluntary, whereas for customer services it’s a necessity that they understand the law of fair trading and pass it on to people, Investors and people which I’ve mentioned. In terms of the services, we have a shop ability, so that people can have the free hire of wheel chairs and scooters in the center for people with those kind of needs, and there’s no cost. There’s also a central solutions unit where by people can access interpreters if they are hard of hearing, or visually impaired. With these interpreters they can go to various shops and restaurants, and we know that through that service, for the first time a lot of people who are visually impaired or hard of hearing, or both, have never before been able to do that before, in any other shopping center. They can through their interpreters; they can have that experience, which again is the service that I’m not aware that any other shopping center that has that kind of services. In terms of other services that we provide, we have the desks and offices I mentioned before. We have the first aid, which I mentioned and the training, so if the consumers happen to have a particular incident in the Centre. But even just in terms of services, such as a prayer room, certain religions, to have a peaceful room because some religions need to pray any time of the day, so that enables them to come to the Major UK Retail Centre. As a consequence everybody is welcome at the Major UK Retail Centre. The prayer room can be used by all people, or to be used as a quite room to reflect in. We do allow community people to use space. For example, to create community awareness. We had a breast screening unit at the Major UK Retail Centre which was a service not just for the public but also it helped to generate awareness of breast screening and to try and encourage them with them it being next to the Major UK Retail Centre. Some people are a little bit fearful of having screenings. They can go have it and then go on and shop. It’s a good way which people could go to that. But we also have a community corner that Alison operates, which is near the Village. Again, people raising awareness, whether it is health issues or just general issues, which not only helps customers in terms of services, but also helps through the Major UK Retail Centre generate awareness of very important issues. We don’t allow ruffles. I know it sounds selfish, but we protect our customers by having a strict policy so big issue sellers do not approach them. Also, people doing research or photography do not approach them. Its very strict, but we do have other ways, in which we help raise money and other fund raising events, but we do have a strict policy so customers aren’t interrupted ,o they can have a relaxing experience. We do an awful lot more really. Ryan: Well this isn’t just for CSR, but whom do you believe, for the Trafford, to be all your stakeholders? Marketing Manager: It’s a long list. Ryan: That’s ok. Marketing Manager: The customers, potential customers, the community at large, anybody I suppose outside the Major UK Retail Centre, the staff, the retail staff, and even the head office level. For retailers as well, not just the staff that work here, the suppliers, transport providers, tram operators, drivers to a certain extend, trainers from external companies, very important, local council or councils, businesses, advertisers or people coming in using the conference facilities.

119

Ryan: Amongst those groups, which of these stakeholders are involved in the operalization of CSR? Marketing Manager: In terms of implementing CSR policy? Ryan: Yes. Marketing Manager: Staff, retailers, retail staff, suppliers and trainers, and I think all these bodies should have an awareness of it, but these are responsible for actually implementing it. That’s my opinion. Oh, and company potential businesses coming in here and they’re operating services. And local council, it can communicate in terms of employment opportunities. Transport providers. Everybody really. The customers are not actually operating CSR but they could be telling other people about what we do. We listen to them so they are responsible then. Ryan: We talked about how you put it into practice, and who your stakeholders are you put it into practice with, Why does the Major UK Retail Centre put CSR into practice? Marketing Manager: Set a reputation, staff retention, health and safety Ryan: Is there anything on here that you would say isn’t included and Why? Marketing Manager: I think I covered anything, well if they know to do it through CSR, because that’s actually definition of CSR Ryan: I mean, why? For these the benefits that you do it? Marketing Manager: Yes I think it is. I don’t think they question themselves, they have just done it. Ryan: Then we go in the question whether the organization has been intentional? Marketing Manager: It’s been intentional, but its not because this is CSR and this is why you should do it. With all the training for example, that’s why, because they know they’re going to get staff motivation, but I don’t think that’s been termed under CSR. Ryan: With these stakeholders, which are the ones that you communicate your CSR activities? Marketing Manager: Customers, essential customers, Major UK Retail Centre staff, retailers, retail staff, suppliers to a certain degree less though, transport providers no we don’t, drivers no, trainers I don’t know, local councils to a certain degree, local businesses to a certain degree, other businesses limited. Ryan: How does this communication manifest itself? Marketing Manager: With all those various stakeholders? Ryan: Yes Marketing Manager: Customers, how do we communicate to them? Through our literature. Ryan: And what are you communicating in it? According to what you termed CSR to be what kind of messages and information that you’re communicating? Marketing Manager: We tell them about services, shop ability, the children’s services, the help lines, in terms of where they can get that information from. Also we tell them about our logo. We point it out the fact that we are fair trading. We have fair trade literature available in its own right, we have awards going down the management, we do press releases, Ryan: Are those awards communicating to customers? Marketing Manager: If they come through the area yes. Ryan: Do your customers come through the area? Marketing Manager: Some times yes. Press release activity, anything we get accredited with, like investing, any awards that we’ve won. We’ve got to be the more successful with anything to do with rewards. We have any information with regards to all the services that we provide, the information packages, which are available to students and for presentations. What I have not done is mention about the environment. Ryan: So part of CSR is environmental responsibility? Marketing Manager: Yes that’s actually major for the Major UK Retail Centre because we have a huge recycling in place Ryan: So that manifests itself? Marketing Manager: We encourage retailers and staff. You can’t imagine how much waste they have. We have a big landscaping team in terms of landscaping around the Major UK Retail Centre. Here we have tree preservation…in terms of the general landscaping and generally around the Major UK Retail Centre we try to ensure that there is environment. We’ve spent 6 million pounds on widening the roads from the m60 into the Major UK Retail Centre, for access ability… Ryan: So the middle manifestation is your transport policy?

120

Marketing Manager: Yes. But it doesn’t harm the environment because if you are in a line of free flow access then you know, would be saving more fuel. It’s major in terms of the environment. It has helped people to live here locally in terms of the infrastructure we’ve adopted all around the roads around the Major UK Retail Centre. We’ve encouraged a lot of bus operators to bring their services here. But as a consequence they are also serving the local people who live here. Ryan: Are you then communicating CSR with your transport providers and the drivers? Marketing Manager: What we try with all our operators is to encourage them to bring services here. We don’t sort of say, these are the reasons why, Well we do say there’s demands. For the staff that work here till the evening, they want to have new services, additional services and we are the persons to encourage them to do that. It’s an element of CSR, but it’ not the full extent of communicating why in terms of the CSR definition. Ryan: Back to manifestations. We left off the Internet. Marketing Manager: So going for the information, in terms of communication I thought about what we do about the environment, and the education groups. We do a lot of recycling. We have receptive bins differently color coded. They get their waste and all goes to recycling. But we tell of those things through presentations, education, through the information packs, and via the web-site. Things that are visual as well, such as the shop ability scheme, and even then we communicate what it is and essential solutions they can see that so it’s actually quite visual. Ryan: So things like logos? Marketing Manager: Information. Any information that we produce we tell them about the shop ability service so it’s a way of communicating. You know, shop ability and access, so from whichever form of literature that we produce we tell them about services that we provide. With regards to the charities, we do press releases and try to get the press coverage. We do fund raising events with the big screen and with charity competition we had to sing and dance or whatever. We do a lot of in-store things to tell customers about what we’re doing in terms of the charity and presentations. We do an awful lot. We tell people about presentations. People are astounded in regards to how much we do. All the other areas of communication, we do at all the inductions at the training. They get briefings every morning about anything and we can see how we generate all the awareness of what we do, why we do it.. Ryan: Retailers? SIDE B Ryan: Why does the Major UK Retail Centre communicate CSR in this manner? Marketing Manager: We communicate in different ways, with different stakeholders, for different reasons. So for instance, with customers we want to communicate to them the level of service position that we have in place so they can use those to enjoy the experience of the Major UK Retail Centre, whilst they’re here. We also want to inform them about the CSR practice we have in place. Whether it be through our own staff, or career development plans. We do a feature, that we use on a regular basis about ‘me and my job’, so it gives them an idea of the type of services that we provide to staff and again that leads to them enjoying the experience better. Then the staff is very helpful. We try and tell them about the services because we feel it gives better reputation and it makes them aware of the services. For people like our suppliers, and retailers we want to try and ensure that they aspire to our philosophies. They also implement certain services, which will lead to a better level of service, then other retailers in other shopping centres. By trying to implement one strategic idea of what we should be delivering to the customer to help increase profitability. Staff we want them to implement operationally the CSR, or the objective of the Major UK Retail Centre and providing a better service, but also telling them about training opportunities that they can get involved with to going back to staff retention, and motivation We want to keep them informed regularly. We have a staff notice board, on which to communicate all the various activities taking place and how they can get involved in various issues. Ryan: What do you perceive to be the benefits of communication of communicating CSR with these various stakeholders? Or we’re going back to the charts again? Marketing Manager: We’re going back to the charts again really Ryan: Why do you believe that these are the benefits? I mean these are what you perceive to be benefits. How do you know these are the benefits? Marketing Manager: That goes back to my marketing belief, my industry belief, which I’ve said that Ryan: So we have two elements here, so what gave you that belief? Marketing Manager: Case studies, through being trained in CSR by employees, telling us about case studies, Ryan: So case studies and training. So, at the Major UK Retail Centre, how do you know other than this? Is it your belief because of your PR background and case studies and training? Marketing Manager: And experience and through actual events that occurred. We evaluate and research, customers, expert surveys, and not only do we get the usual kind of data, in terms of geographic and socioeconomic profiles, and the way they visit the center and their behavior but we get down to what they actually like and dislike about the Retail centre. Ryan: How do you know these are the actually benefits that you get?

121

Marketing Manager: I know that through the benefits we’ve provided that the customers actually applaud us. The consequences of that you know is that they’re coming here more regularly As a consequence of having these philosophies and the fact that they don’t get disserved by people. The fact they have certain services, the fact that they have a web site they can get information on the UCI cinemas distinct. It all relates to them coming here more often which goes back to the objective. In terms of staff we have an evaluation, an interview with every member staff when they are leaving to find out which areas, why it might be that they’re going onto different places And in a lot of cases its not necessarily because we have fault here. We get feedback from staff to see what they enjoy about being here. Even in little presentations, we do as a task, as a consequence, we see that the Major UK Retail Centre is one of the best employers because it’s providing all the training and you can see the experience provided. Ryan: But what we’re talking about is how that you know the benefits of your CSR activities. What do you believe are the benefits of communicating it? Marketing Manager: They know about it. The awareness. If they know about certain services then they will use those services. If the staff know that they are given training opportunities then they will be encouraged to do the training. If the suppliers know about the policies we have in place then they will ensure they are operationally implementing those policies. If the community hears about the community type events that we’re undertaking it makes them feel better about that specific brand. Ryan: Ok so increased brand perception. Well its an important question because of the fact that what we’re looking at is whether what’s effective in communicating it and whether if with some stakeholders you need to be specifically communicating it, or just doing it enough and does that then achieve it? Marketing Manager: I think it’s a mixture of both really. And I think it depends on stakeholders. It’s almost a different set of objectives although they are leading into one idealism. The way we are communicating in different sectors …it provides a background to why we do it. Maybe we need to look at why we’re doing it a little more. Specific cases relate differently to different audiences. Ryan: That’s it. Thank you.

122

CSR – MRes Major UK Retail Centre Interview three: Ryan Bowd– PA Manager ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SIDE A Ryan: “Does the Major UK Retail Centre have an explicit definition of Corporate Social Responsibility”? And if yes what is it? PA Manager: I don’t think it does, not a written definition certainly, but they have a philosophy, I don’t think that goes under social responsibility. Ryan: Ok, what does the term CSR mean to you? What characteristics or attributes do you think make up CSR? PA Manager: I think CSR is operating in an ethical manner and legal, obviously you have to comply with legislation, and helps recognize the impacts of the company or its structure on internal and external community. Ryan: So, in an ethical manner. PA Manager: And legal, by that meaning meeting legislature requirements. Ryan: So, CSR has an element of exceeding expectations and legislation? PA Manager: And legislation. Ryan: Exceeding legislation and exceeding expectations. PA Manager: Recognizing the impact on internal and external communities, the impact on the company and its actions. Ryan: Any other characteristics or attributes? PA Manager: Honesty as well, being open and honest. Ryan: How do you know? PA Manager: Good question, there seems to be circumstances whether the government is open and honest. We do charity. Ryan: So what you said about the government about being open and hones, it is obviously communicated. So CSR is about communicating? PA Manager: Yes, being open and honest, and communicating.… Ryan: Any other attributes? PA Manager: Those are the main ones. To me anyway. Ryan: Ok. Ethical manner. Can you go in a bit more depth on what is this operating in ethical manner? What are the attributes of operating in an ethical manner? PA Manager: I find this difficult actually because I say it, I know what I mean, but I can’t communicate it. Done with respect of all sorts of things, respect of people, customer and safe, with respect to individuals. Ryan: So individuals? PA Manager: Yes to other companies we are associated with, and other institutions like schools and colleges and things. Ryan: So, CSR involves quite a wide range of stakeholders. PA Manager: Yes Ryan: How many of these are stakeholders? PA Manager: Loads of them. Ryan: So it incorporates a wide range. So it incorporates them in an ethical manner. PA Manager: The ethics is manner in which you operate by being legal, decent, honest, truthful. Ryan: So legal with respect to what? With CSR meaning relevant legal and regulations? PA Manager: Obviously we come under a number of different regulations, we operate things like protection, disability, discrimination, employment, legislation, health and safety legislation. Ryan: HR?

123

PA Manager: Under legislation we have a list to understand different act and regulation to comply with. Ryan: So exceeding in an ethical manner? PA Manager: Yes. Ryan: Would we include the environment as well? PA Manager: Yes absolutely because of the recycling elements, and not polluting. Ryan: Is CSR a good thing or a bad thing? If it’s a good thing what are the benefits of it? And if it’s a bad thing what are the issues with it? PA Manager: I think it’s a good thing. For a long time there’s been many companies that haven’t been corporately socially responsible and unfortunately these things have come back to hit them in the face nowadays. For instance, the company in Chester dumped the waste and then they build houses on top, while the waste was underneath. That wasn’t corporately socially responsible. That’s an environmental one. Ryan: Was it legal at the time? PA Manager: I have no idea. It may not have been, and they been put things down where they shouldn’t have been. Ryan: At that time, going back to legal. Was it legal? PA Manager: They thought it would have been yes, probably the local authorities were irresponsible because they build the houses on top, without checking out what the future might have held or whatever. Ryan: So with this issue we have this time element , because that thing at the time it probably was legal And we can even possibly guess it. Accept as practice. So we get back to your element definition of CSR of the corporate CSR? PA Manager: Possibly yes. You should be looking into the future and the impact in the future of your actions now, possibly. You should be considering the implications of things that you do now on the future. So for instance CSR is good and I think one of the benefits are raising the status of the company, in terms of not just being there to get people for the money. Ryan: So it’s actual benefits PA Manager: Yes, its actual benefits, thinking ahead might save trouble in the future. Ryan: So protection against potential issues becoming crisis PA Manager: And the people also. Ryan: So perception, why does your organization want perceptual benefits? PA Manager: Longer term, people feel warm towards it, they think that we’re putting something back we’re not sitting there. Ryan: So loyalty? PA Manager: Yes loyalty. It brings back customers year after year. If we start engaging them now they will come back when they are adults with more spending power, and carry on spending. Then they may be more affluent in middle aged, or when they are retired and they will keep spending because they have developed a loyalty to the Retail centre. Ryan: So perceptual benefits in terms of the financial? PA Manager: Yes, there could be financial rewards from it. Ryan: What has caused you to adopt this point of view on CSR? And whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing? PA Manager: My job, really. My job didn’t exist when the Centre opened. It has evolved and there seems to be a need for someone to take on a community role, whatever community means in that particular case. So that has brought me into contact with other organizations such as Kellogg’s, and people like that who do well. Certainly Kellogg promotes their CSR. Kellogg’s actually, keep their good deeds under a bush. They do an awful lot of good work that nobody ever knows about. So I’ve seen a lot of other companies, and I’ve realized that what I’m doing is really what they do, but on a smaller scale than them. But I haven’t seen any bad things coming out of what they’ve been doing. Ryan: ok so interaction with CSR proactive companies. Is it purely your experience? PA Manager: Well I don’t go out of my way to shop at shops where they have an ethical policy, but when you see something in the press about someone has been using slave labour, you think twice about going there. So personal experience as well. Like the ‘Bodyshop’ has always promoted as being ethically brilliant and helping people and …

124

Ryan: So is that personal experience, from images projected to you? PA Manager: Yes, it’s from communications. Ryan: So, images projected but not necessarily proactive research PA Manager: Definitely no. Ryan: Any other things? We have personal images projected, not proactive research, current experience, and evolution of work and new role. PA Manager: And feedback from things that we have already implemented as well , on a small scale, feedback has always been very positive. An example would be school resources, all the visits we had this morning. Ryan: What age? PA Manager: They were ABC levels, so sixteen year olds. Ryan: How does the Major UK Retail Centre put this into practice? PA Manager: We have our community programs, community development, which I think you have a copy for but I can get you another… Ryan: That would be helpful. So community? PA Manager: Community development doesn’t just mean me, that’s my job title, because it does go across the company. There are things that security do and things that a number of the services team do, things that customer services do. Examples would be the environmental policy. Recycling, which is significantly on the cardboard side and would be a good one for next session. We have the education programs, there’s awful lot on the website for GMBQ, primary level, secondary level and GMBQ - ABC level. Ryan: So education programs? PA Manager: Plus the visits program for school visits. We do have for travel and transport coordinator, she comes under customer services another department. We have the HR department with the jobs recruitment Ryan: So you have a travel plan? PA Manager: Yes, I’m sure there’s more, you’ve asked around? Ryan: One of the reasons is that each one of you get a different act so when we put it together and get a clearer picture and this is one of the reasons you guys weren’t allowed to really speak to each other about this process I’m doing. PA Manager: We have the crime prevention, the safety and security, we have things for specific needs and supervision for disabled people. Ryan: So safety and security program. PA Manager: We have members a no-smoking policy, you got recruitment there, and the links with the job center and things like that? Ryan: So, recruitment. Just remember that everything that everyone else has mentioned hasn’t happened PA Manager: ok, the employees, maybe under stakeholders. Ryan: What we’re looking at is all the manifestations not a specific stakeholder. PA Manager: We have education. There are things like the network for the employers about education and future employment. Ryan: So employment networking. PA Manager: Yes, charity work, charity committees. There’s also local regulations and standards off course, with legal matters, or going beyond compliance and regulations, discrimination, we want to defeat it not follow it. Changes, it evolves it doesn’t stay the same. Ryan: So CSR is evolving. It doesn’t stay the same. What other manifestations then, we have community, developed program, customer services, employee network, and compliance with regulators. PA Manager: HR, recycling. There’s also our staff awards program which it probably could come under CSR because its encouraging staff to come up with bright ideas, to improve customer service but also to come up with cost saving ideas and there’s loads of recycling. Ryan: So those are the bright ideas awards? PA Manager: Yes bright ideas awards and we have customer service awards as well, for people who go the extra mile beyond of their job description or what’s required of them. Training comes under HR as well. Ryan: So part of your CSR is to train them?

125

PA Manager: Yes because we train people a) to be able to do the job and b) they also get additional training which will benefit them longer term in their own career development. They choose to leave at any point, a lot of them have used the training, and have gone to other places. Ryan: Anything else? PA Manager: Charity work and we did do financial donations to things like local events, we provide prizes… Ryan: So sponsorship in philanthropy PA Manager: Yes, and also equipment donations as well, computers for recycling, which is handled by the IT department but I know about it, and mobile phones to recycle for charity as well. And we have actually given away furniture to local charities. Education, I’ve only mentioned it briefly, it’s quite a lot of different factors to it. Ryan: Education programs? PA Manager: Well yes. We do presentations and tours at all levels. We have a primer level and another one for more advanced students. We do work experience and work shadowing and teacher placement days. They come in and somebody from the HR department goes and talks about careers, opportunities and how we run the Centre. Also we tell how they can use the Centre as an educational tool as well. Teaching resources, you got primary level, secondary level, and higher education. I also do a limited outreach program,. These depend on my available time. I go out and speak to schools, or at school conferences and I do a couple of days a year with the industrial society as well, where they go out and do challenges. We support local education action zone, we let them use the meeting rooms in the evenings and we do things with them. Governor of local schools, south, and east, both our governors of local primary schools, which is the nearest one to the Major UK Retail Centre, which is a nice one. We also have development committees, with different initiatives, for retailing qualification. I’ve mentioned discrimination, we go the extra mile on that. Crime prevention and Safety, among crime stoppers. We do a lot with the police and education, the welfare officers they come around. We have the community, community groups and charities come in. The breast screening unit are coming back, they were here for a whole year and so successful that they are coming back this year. Ryan: So Stakeholders as a whole? Who do you perceive to be the main stakeholder groups for the Retail centre? PA Manager: Staff, and retailer staff, customers and the board who represents the shareholders, the main board, the retailers and the local authorities that surround the Retail centre. Also sponsorship partners by Nestle and Coca–Cola, charities, educational institutions, other local and regional community groups, retired people’s groups and thins, the media, I don’t think there’s more actually Ryan: Are any of these that you mentioned need to break up into smaller groups or do you think they are encompassing enough? PA Manager: The charities come under community groups anyway, but I’ve separated them out, sponsorship partners I think, no, no I think. Ryan: ok. Out of these groups which do you think are involved in the operalization of CSR? Are involved in your activities? Shaping and presenting the company? PA Manager: Right, staff, all staff, sponsorship partners, educational institutions and media. If they communicate what we’re doing, we communicate especially to them then they will communicate towards others, retailers, community groups, it’s actually all of them, I don’t think the board do but then you could actually with the funding so actually they are. Ryan: Local authorities? PA Manager: Well it could have an impact on them, through health and safety or planning or whatever. Really it depends on what it is we’re trying to do. Ryan: Charities? PA Manager: Well, yes they could Ryan: Auditors? PA Manager: I don’t know. There are two types of auditors. There are the straight forward financial auditors and there are also the auditors who represent the retailers Their role is to see how we are spending the money that they give us. So yes they could be but I would say it’s the retail auditors. Ryan: Why does the Major UK Retail Centre put CSR into practice? PA Manager: It sort of goes back to the long term benefits. There is always a desire to be as we say in the British ‘Good Neighbor’. But also to see the commercial sort of side to it, it increases long term loyalty to the brand, I’m sure there’s some philanthropy in

126

there or otherwise they wouldn’t pay me to do my job. It’s hard for me to relate that, the financial benefits of my job, to the overall picture. They put me here for a reason and I do the job. It’s not an easy one. Ryan: It’s one thing you drew there but there’s also for the organization the objective is financial reward, it’s a good thing that one of the benefits is that it enables to achieve organizational objectives. Which of these groups do you communicate your CSR attributes to that are involved? PA Manager: Charities, education, staff, retailers and therefore retail staff hopefully, the board, customers we do a little bit through our marketing and PR, like PR story releases major things, employees, local community, other organizations, partners as well, the media as a group when we want to promote something specific I suppose, . Ryan: So we have these groups and the next question is ‘How does this communication manifest itself? Is this both in terms of content and media? So let’s take Retail centre staff. Allison: Staff newsletter, and award scheme, a briefing, managers meetings Ryan: What’s communicated in these? PA Manager: If we have, sort of news about how much money we raised at charities or educational material coming out for things they can get involved in, seeking involvement and telling them results, Ryan: Involved in new developments. Changes to policies? PA Manager: Yes definitely. Ryan: Community groups, how do you communicate with them? PA Manager: We rely on and do it via the media if there’s something there needs to be told. For instance if we’re looking for charities to reply to us we would go to the press, with a press release and then normally publish it locally. Community groups is more word of mouth really, cause they get to hear that I’m doing a certain project or whatever, I go and talk to them, awards and money raise for charities, and staff that’s recycled Ryan: The board and shareholders? PA Manager: Regular, monthly reports to the board, indirectly they see stories in the press about the Retail centre, the website as well works for most, I would think, its accessible to everybody, all the communications. Ryan: The media? PA Manager: Yes, the media as well. Ryan: Auditors? PA Manager: Auditors they get to see the accounts and the support documentation they need. Ryan: Retailers? PA Manager: we’ve said that, we have a newsletter that goes out to retailers, we also communicate by memos, and by post, and one to one conversations, we have managers go around to see them, head office level managers. Ryan: Retail staff? PA Manager: Through the managers and from their head officers I suppose, we also put it on staff notice board and they get to see that newsletter as well. Ryan: Sponsorship partners? PA Manager: Mainly one to one conversations, we have designated liaison person with each company, Coca-Cola and Nestle, and we have a very good working relationship with them we just pick the phone up. We want their support for education, but they also give us money to do all sorts of things. Ryan: Educational institutions? PA Manager: Well, through the resources available, website and through the local education authority, we actually use them to promote our educational program, also through the educational partnerships as well, and direct contact at schools and colleges. Ryan: So direct contact and Community liaison officer. PA Manager: Community development manager, management. Ryan: Customers? PA Manager: Customers, we have the Trafford magazine, the promotional literature, through generating news stories, physical, TV serving, radio, whatever.

127

Ryan: Charities committee? PA Manager: We write to any charities to let them no what is happening, any opportunities. Ryan: Media? PA Manager: Media is mainly through personal contacts. They will not talk to you unless you actually try and make friends with them. Ryan: Why does the Major UK Retail Centre communicate CSR in this manner? PA Manager: Why in that manner or why does it bother communicating at all? Ryan: In the manner first cause I think that’s more why you perceive to be the benefits. PA Manager: PR profile as a company, I think it raises the awareness of things that go on behind the scenes. People are curious they like to know what goes on. Ryan: So it satisfies curiosity? PA Manager: Yes. Ryan: What do you perceive to be the benefits of communicating CSR in with the stakeholders? PA Manager: The intangible warm feeling, the Peel Group factor. It’s, a perceptual, reputation. It’s one of the benefits of having a good reputation. There are benefits to showing that you go the extra mile. That you go beyond what would be a normal requirement. These are benefits for the parent company as well. Ryan: So benefits, as well parent companies? PA Manager: Projects we get involved in. The reason I say that is because I was actually requested to run through… Ryan: To increase intangible benefits, then. PA Manager: Increasing brand loyalty and that should turn out fruitful longer term. Ryan: Loyalty. So, going back to your original elements of CSR then, you had recognized the impact of these activities, the social needs and wants versus company objectives. Ryan: Why do you believe these are the benefits? How do you know? PA Manager: I don’t know, good question. I can imagine that those are the benefits. Ryan: How would you measure them? PA Manager: Through research. Whether people understand CSR or if people think of us as being aspirational. Ryan: So currently this is intuitive? PA Manager: I think so yes. Also from looking at other organizations that have already been down this route and they are years ahead on this. Ryan: How do you know that, usually perceived benefits? PA Manager: Yes I think so. We are relatively to other companies slightly more responsible. Ryan: But currently it’s intuitive. PA Manager: Yes, mostly yes. Ryan: So would you believe more of these benefits are because you got awards? That recognizes your excellence in some areas? PA Manager: Yes, at least we do something right we do receive awards. Ryan: Ok that’s it. Thank you.

128

CSR – MRes Major UK Retail Centre Interview four: Ryan Bowd– PR Manager ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------SIDE A Ryan: First question “Does the Major UK Retail Centre have an explicit definition of Corporate Social Responsibility?” PR Manager: What kind of explicit definition do you mean that we have? Ryan: A definition. PR Manager: A corporate definition of it? Ryan: Yes PR Manager: I wouldn’t say we do actually, no I wouldn’t. Ryan: In that case, “What does the term CSR mean to you”? Including what are the characteristics and attributes of CSR? PR Manager: CSR means to me, Corporate social responsibility, so it’s kind of ethics of operating within the community It’s how we’re perceived by the local community, retailers, our customers and our employees. Ryan: So how do stakeholders perceive you? PR Manager: Yes, how do stakeholders perceive us. Ryan: Ok. PR Manager: And in terms of being a socially aware ethical company Ryan: So what do you mean by socially aware? PR Manager: In terms of that being perceived as a …, for example dumping toxic waste on … we work within safe parameters Ryan: What do you mean by socially aware? Aware of… PR Manager: Our obligations as an employer and as a public place. Ryan: By obligations do you mean laws and regulations? PR Manager: Yes, laws and regulations. Abiding by laws and regulations. Being a committed employer, a good employer to people. Ryan: So these include employment law? PR Manager: Yes. Just remind me the question again… Ryan: What are the characteristics and attributes of CSR? What is CSR to you? PR Manager: Also what you give back to the community in terms of charities, sponsorship, education. Ryan: Anything else? PR Manager: No I don’t think so. Ryan: Ethics. What do you mean by ethics in operation? PR Manager: I suppose that links into being kind of, in terms of abiding by the laws and regulations, I think that probably links in terms of …we’re ethical in terms of, we have ethical practices in terms of being an employer and providing a service to customers. And I suppose, the protection, the health and safety.. Ryan: Any other attributes or characteristics? PR Manager: No Ryan: Giving something back, ethics, and stakeholders? PR Manager: Accountability as well

129

Ryan: What does accountability involve? PR Manager: If there is a problem, whether it is with an employee, retailer or customer, there is somebody from the Centre that is accountable to that. There is always going to be somebody ultimately in transport, for any issues that arise. Ryan: So CSR has accountability, so that means there is possibly, some forms of audit and measurement then? PR Manager: Yes Ryan: ok. How do you know that something has been accounted for? PR Manager: In terms of the systems in place, in terms of the line of feedback. For example, a customer could walk in … Ryan: How it’s communicated? PR Manager: Yes, customer service desk complaint and then that complaint would be noted and passed on to the relevant person, so yes communication Ryan: Ok. Is CSR a bad thing or a good thing? If it’s a good thing what are the benefits of it? And if it’s a bad thing what are the issues with it? PR Manager: I think it’s a good thing and the benefits in terms of it help build positive reputation, and stakeholders. Ryan: Why is that important? PR Manager: It can create loyalty to the brand and retain customers, and also retain loyalty among employees, Ryan: So it retains loyalty PR Manager: Yes Ryan: ok. Why is that important? PR Manager: In terms of kind of quality of staff minimizing and staff turnover. Ryan: Quality of staff? PR Manager: I think it helps to attract quality staff if they think you’re a quality organization, there will be certain values Ryan: Attraction of quality staff then PR Manager: Yes, cause you’re going to attract people with some sort of expectations, but also it kind of retains employees as well. Ryan: Which leads to quality staff. You said it retains customers, builds reputation, would you say that reputations attract customers? PR Manager: Yes and it builds kind of a positive image as well, your organization kind of has a positive connotation to it opposed to negative Ryan: So it builds good will PR Manager: Yes Ryan: Why do organizations want good will, good reputation, retain customers, loyalty, attract new customers why is it important? PR Manager: Well I suppose it generates good public relations Ryan: Why do organizations want good PR? PR Manager: Well I suppose keeping the organization competitive and ultimately to ensure its success. Ryan: Success in terms of? PR Manager: In terms of the Major UK Retail Centre For having all these positive images and an excellent reputation. It has ensured that it’s success because people want to return here as a visitor, people will want to stay working here, retailers will have a good feeling and will want to operate from here so its kind of a holistic approach. Ryan: So it helps achieve organizational goals? PR Manager: Yes and its objectives Ryan: Achievement of business objectives. Anything else? We have positive image, attracts new customers, builds reputation and loyalty, retains customers, quality candidates, retains employability, quality of staff, minimize staff turnover, staff goodwill, all which leads to enable the achievement of business objectives

130

PR Manager: And also attract retailers. Probably it generates an envy factor and retailers want to come into the Centre Ryan: So positive images and the explicit position of the brand in a way? PR Manager: Yes Ryan: What caused you to adopt this point of view? What are the things that caused you to have this point of view yourself? PR Manager: I suppose in terms of kind of analyzing the whole experience of this place Ryan: And in terms of this, so professional experience PR Manager: Personal experience Ryan: What kind of experiences or things helped form your viewpoint? PR Manager: Well with an organization like the Major UK Retail Centre I am a customer as well as an employee, so that kind of gives me an idea inside really, I can see it from both sides. And in terms of my role, within PR as well, I’m more aware of what good PR is. Ryan: Ok. PR Manager: And I suppose when we question why you remain loyal to a brand or product, I want to have access to a quality product and I do think that the whole CSR element has to do with quality Ryan: Do you have any personal view points that help support this? PR Manager: Yes I suppose in terms of becoming aware of organizations that have done it badly. We are the ones that did it well and when you compare those experiences Ryan: So you become aware of unresponsive or irresponsible companies? PR Manager: I always remember the General Rompers example. When he claimed that during the. Ryan: How did you find out about that? PR Manager: Through the media Ryan: Next question. How does the Major UK Retail Centre put CSR into practice? PR Manager: In terms of the retailers side of things we have a fair trading to do which protects both retailer and consumer interest. We have community programs, in terms of educational initiative, charitable interest and sponsorship, and communicating with other outside organizations that can benefit from the center. Then in terms of customer services, kind of trading. We’re very proud of our services, we have good services. Ryan: So customer services that links into fair tradings? PR Manager: Yes. In terms of our policies and procedures, the health and safety, recruitment and employment, the providing of all the services as well, in terms of services for disabled people, children etc And I suppose communication as well. And then also work with outside agencies, such as Manchester Police and other outside bodies, GMP. Also in terms of the environment as well Ryan: So policies, procedures PR Manager: Environmental practices. I think that’s pretty much it. Ryan: Not just in terms of CSR, but who do you believe the Major UK Retail Centre’s stakeholders to be? PR Manager: Customers, retailers, employees, potential employees, all the outside agencies that we deal with and organizations that would take an interest of in the activities happening here. Ryan: And they would be? PR Manager: Suppliers, emergence services, trade associations etc., local councils and potential retailers. Ryan: Which of these stakeholders are involved in the Trafford Center’s operalization of CSR? What I mean by operalization is the implementation or interaction with the implementation. PR Manager: So who do we interact with to implement these? Ryan: Who is involved in the implementation or in the activities? PR Manager: In terms of stakeholders. Ok.. In terms of the trade associations they play a part in terms of our customer service. Ryan: Customers? PR Manager: We have customer forums to get feedback from customers, so that can impact on the way we do things here. In terms of the retailers as well. So they have to follow a set of standards which we set.

131

Ryan: So procedures and policies PR Manager: And then in terms of employees and potential employees, they again have to follow the procedures in place. And then in terms of the customers as well. They are going to benefit from the programs that take place. Ryan: What about local councils are they involved in it? PR Manager: Yes they are in a way, because they can influence in a way Ryan: Why does the Retail centre put CSR into practice? Is it back to the benefits, is it for the same reasons, is that why the Major UK Retail Centre puts it into practice? PR Manager: I think yes, the Major UK Retail Centre cares in its own success because of people. Without those reasons that I gave earlier, it’s a key really, Ryan: So it’s pretty much synergetic? PR Manager: Yes Ryan: With which of these stakeholders does the Retail centre communicate some of the CSR activities? PR Manager: We haven’t actually got a corporate definition of CSR, so we do communicate what we do but not necessarily CSR Ryan: So whom are you communicating to about what you do? PR Manager: Customers, potential customers, retailers, educational establishment, outside organizations such as all the regulatory bodies, to certain suppliers but not all, employees and potential employees Ryan: How does this communication manifest itself? I mean both in terms of content and media? PR Manager: In terms of communication with customers and potential customers, advertising, arrangement of leaflets and information. Information packs, a Centre magazine, through radio and to, communicate to the public by the media, in terms of employees with an in house news letter, center departments have feedback sessions, not all, internet which is a big aspect of communication, encourage customers to Ryan: I’m guessing that gets everyone then. PR Manager: Yes, and we also have a central TV station, Ryan: And then again I’m guessing that gets the customers? PR Manager: Yes Ryan: And employees, retailers? PR Manager: Yes, and then in terms of retailers its again an updated news letter which goes to them and kind of like one to one communication through individual managers Ryan:. What about educational establishment? PR Manager: Yes. That has an information curriculum pack, close work with schools, so again the one to one. Ryan: Anything else? PR Manager: That’s pretty much it Ryan: What about regulatory bodies? PR Manager: To a certain extent. You know depending on who the manager is and which body they would need to communicate with. Ryan: So one to one I guess? PR Manager: Yes. One to one. Ryan: Anything else? PR Manager: No that’s it. Ryan: Ok then subscribers? PR Manager: Again I think that’s more of a one to one. Between specific managers that are responsible for suppliers.

132

Ryan: Potential employees? PR Manager: Well I suppose they could be exposed to things like the stuff that I have mentioned, like the internet, information they receive from the big screen. Ryan: And what are you communicating in all these informations? Your advertising. What was your advertising communicating? Under CSR? PR Manager: Well I suppose in advertising you have. It’s not directly communicating. With advertising that’s not necessary communicating any CSR elements. It’s more reflecting the brand values of the Centre. A key message when there is an event or a particular message. Ryan: Leaflets? PR Manager: In terms of CSR they are really useful in terms of communicating all the 1informations that we have but also the endorsements by the outside agencies. Ryan: Endorsements and awards? PR Manager: Yes I suppose, safety awards. Ryan: The Center magazine? PR Manager: Very much like retail focused, in terms of encouraging customers to use the retail offering, although there is a part of that within the section where you can communicate your awards or whatever. But we don’t actually have a CSR page within that. Ryan: Media? PR Manager: In terms of informing them the positive thing that we do here in terms of awards, initiative, our commitment to customers and safety. Ryan: The Internet. What’s that communicating? PR Manager: Very strong kind of CSR element. Again I would say all the endorsements by outside agencies, it provides customers feedback mechanisms, communication mechanisms. Also in terms of education resource Ryan: The newsletters I’m guessing make sure of these things? PR Manager: Yes. Well again elements of communicating positive messages Ryan: Why does the Major UK Retail Centre communicate CSR in this manner? PR Manager: Because it’s important to keep these people informed, I talked about earlier Ryan: Perceived benefits? PR Manager: Yes perceived benefits and positive image in PR Ryan: Why do you perceive to be the benefits of communicating CSR with these various stakeholders? Or are we heading back to that.. PR Manager: Well yes tangible and intangible and what there is to offer. Ryan: Increase? PR Manager: Retailer demand you know. The educational interest in terms of if we weren’t getting thing right I don’t think we would have schools from primary to post graduate level that that would have come into the centre and see what its all about. I suppose increase in potential applicants, and also kind of staff retention.. Ryan: So you’re coming back to things like positive image, builds reputation, attraction of quality staff, retaining employees, PR Manager: Yes. And then I suppose intangible perceptions people associate with the Centre which are obviously hard to measure. Perceptions, you know if you’re seen as a good or a bad organization, a caring organization, again potential attraction, there may be a great interest among potential retailers and customers and employees. Ryan: Why do you believe these are the benefits? How do you know? PR Manager: Again from my direct experience and feedback from all these groups and I suppose the repetition of methods Ryan: So consistency of feedback?

133

PR Manager: Yes Ryan: Is it qualitative or quantitative? PR Manager: In terms of? Ryan: Is it numbered or intuitive interpretation? PR Manager: I suppose in terms of me its more interpretation because I deal with the hard part of the research, which is very positive, it’s more intuitive for me Ryan: Anything else? PR Manager: What was the question again? Ryan: Why do you believe these are the benefits? Or how do you know this is a benefit of doing it? Not doing it communicating it? PR Manager: It creates an interest to people and it can also create loyalty and support for your organization Ryan: Anything else? PR Manager: No that’s it Ryan: That’s it. Thank you.

134

CSR – Mres Major UK Retail Centre Interview five: Ryan Bowd – Centre Manager

Side A Ryan: Now the first question is does the Retail centre have an explicit definition of corporate social responsibility? Centre Manager: No. Ryan: That then leads me onto the second question which is, what does the term corporate social responsibility mean to you? By this I mean what are the characteristics and attributes of corporate social responsibility as far as you’re concerned? Centre Manager: My basic interpretation of CSR is that, you know, a company as us the Retail centre, has responsibilities and those are not just responsibilities in terms of the strict definition of a business, i.e. operating a shopping centre, but they go beyond that. Those responsibilities extend not only to the individuals that work with and for the company but also those people that are effected by the company’s presence. Ryan: So, in that, is it fair to say that one of the characteristics of CSR is your core business? Centre Manager: Yeah, I suppose we are responsible that we run our business in a responsible manner and with compete responsibly. Ryan: But then we’ve also got elements that you’ve drawn out of internal stakeholders, responsibility to those internal stakeholders. Centre Manager: Yep, we directly employ a large quantity of staff. We have another quantity of employees on site who we have a duty of care to in many respects. Beyond that the great numbers of the general public to whom again, a duty of care exists. Ryan: Through that, a responsibility to external stakeholders as well? Centre Manager: That’s what we would focus on in terms of direct responsibility that’s people who are here, people who we interact with on a daily basis, people who are visiting our Retail centre. But you then go wider than that because of sheer presence effects other people. Ryan: What kind of people? Centre Manager: Well our sheer presence effects people in the locality, the local population and again on different levels. There are areas where we naturally effect: sheer physical presence, traffic issues, and there are issues that we have chosen to effect. Ryan: Now that brings me to something there that you have chosen. Would you agree that CSR is about being responsible in the explicit in what you have to do but also in there is a voluntary? Centre Manager: Very much so. I mean I don’t think you can take on responsibility in that sense, unless you know. We can all do a job and do the bare minimum. What makes us good at a job is doing beyond and I think that is CSR in a very simple format. We can all set a business up, we can all make Smarties, but can we all do that bit extra in terms of the people that we interact with, either directly or indirectly? Ryan: Now you used the term responsibility quite a lot. You talk about different responsibilities, what defines a responsibility within CSR? Centre Manager: There are two elements. There is the direct, the people you are actually touching, the people that are visiting our centre, the people that work here. We have a responsibility for their safe keeping, the health and safety side of things, the communication. But that is more what I would term the physical side. Now there is also the moral responsibility, or however you want to term it. People in the working community, who we effect by being here. Ryan: Now other than the explicit, things like the legislation what is your viewpoint of CSR, what is the implicit responsibility, how to you is that derived? Centre Manager: I suppose if you’re honest, what you are actually saying is who made the decision that we would take this responsibility?

135

Ryan: Yeah and how this responsibility how did it come about? I mean cause the explicit is quite obvious, I mean the explicit is really laid down. Centre Manager: It comes about cause we did want to be seen, I suppose it was a perception problem that we had to over come which goes back to the history of the development. I mean this development was in many ways not wanted by a lot of people. Therefore once the decision had been made to create the development, we were very conscious that we had to alter minds. That we had to convince people that we weren’t a bad thing, that we could be good. Ryan: So I mean you have used the word communication. Would you try to say that adamant of CSR is its communication? Centre Manager: Well, you can’t be seen in many respects to actually have responsibility without communicating it on a very base level. Ryan: Now also, you said that the impetuous was in order to changing the mind sets, to change the view points. Would you agree then that your CSR activities, at the end of the day, must be tied to desired business outcomes? Centre Manager: From day one that was the focus. We were seen as a big nasty developer, building something that lots of people didn’t want. We’ve now, four and a half years on, established that lots of people want it and our responsibility has been much better defined in terms of what’s better not just for us, but also the recipients of that responsibility. So we’ve shifted, we’ve gone away from the early days of ‘ we’ve got to do this because we have to send out a message’ to ‘we are doing this because A) we enjoy it, and B) so do the people that we do it with’. So we reciprocate in terms of the messages we send out. Ryan: So would you say that the impetuous of CSR activities is a mixture of business outcome, but there is also an element of altruism in it? Centre Manager: Yeah. Ryan: Is there anything else that you would use in terms of corporate social responsibility. By this I mean corporate social responsibility in terms of internal, external, comminations, altruism, outcomes, activities and moral responsibility? Centre Manager: On a very personal level I would disagree. Ryan: Ok. Centre Manager: We do that on a company level through these meshes but on a very personal level there’s is a responsibility to myself due to my position that shows I give something back to the broader community outside this business. Ryan: Would you say that it is fair to say that this is your viewpoint of CSR. That there is a level of the individual in an organisation’s CSR? Centre Manager: Yes, I think there is. Ryan: Anything else? Centre Manager: Don’t think so. Ryan: The next question, you have answered in some ways, but is CSR in your view point, a good thing or a bad thing? If it is a good thing, what are the benefits of it and if it is a bad thing, what are the issues with it? Centre Manager: It’s a good thing because I believe any company to actually better understand its needs of its customer, and its customers needs of it, in a very simple format, it’s understandable. Again, going back to the earlier analogy, if you just want to go out and do the bare minimum, you just want to make Smarties, you make them, you put them on the shelf and someone buys them. Someone who wants to make that business better would try to understand what the customer wants from the Smarties, talk to the customer. That’s the sort of analogy I use in strict business. We need to better understand our customers and we hope that our customers would better understand us so that’s what of the good things about CSR because, in the definition I’ve given it, that happens. You have to talk. Ryan: So I mean going back to that then, CSR an element would be that this communication, is two way? Centre Manager: Yes. Ryan: Other than understanding both directions are there any other benefits? Is there anything else that you perceive?

136

Centre Manager: Yeah, I think that by sheer process managers understand their jobs better so you know, your staff awareness issues are much higher. It is to be responsible in its own right and brings further responsibility with it. Ryan: So we’ve got understanding, both in terms of customers and organisations, which better enables managers to understand their roles which enables better development. What other benefits? Centre Manager: I think if it’s handled in a sensitive manner then our PR benefits from that in terms of, that you can tell people that you are responsible, and hope to have evidence that you are responsible. Ryan: So you would say reputational benefits? Why is it important to get these reputational, perceptual benefits? Centre Manager: Because we live in a competitive world where choices involve people and we are all about those choices. That’s one of the first simple choices the customer makes, do I go to the Retail centre this weekend, or do I go somewhere else? Ryan: So improves competitive advantage and this ties to business outcomes. Anything else? Centre Manager: I also think as part of a group company I think the benefits are there with issues such as this, particularly with older more established companies there are elements that the group can be made aware of the benefits. So we are improving our peers if you like in terms of the group. Ryan: So setting benchmarks? Centre Manager: I think quite often people are saying, ‘why aren’t we doing this at Liverpool John Lennon, because they’re doing it at the Retail centre’. Ryan: So enables the group to be better as a whole? Centre Manager: Yep. Ryan: Any other benefits come to mind? Centre Manager: Ultimately I think leaving out several of those issues in terms of choices, PR and potentially financial ones. Ryan: Why do you perceive that? Centre Manager: Again it comes back to the simple facts of choice. Someone makes a choice, they are going to the Retail centre because They believe it is a nice place and on the terms that they’ve done this. Ryan: So you have more loyal customers? Centre Manager: They come to us and spend money. Ryan: Anything else? Can the benefits not only work for the parent company to do better by itself? Is it possible that the CSR activities facilitate your existence with them? Centre Manager: Err… Ryan: Are there benefits with you for the parent company not in terms of a single, but other organisations? Centre Manager: Yes you’re right. It is used, I suppose the ultimate thing is that a member of Peel Holdings goes to a meeting where people don’t know them and they ask what do you do for them they say oh well we own and operate the Retail centre. So there is a benefit there. Ryan: And does that benefit work for yourselves as well with the parent company? Centre Manager: It can do in the longer term because again it broadens the marketing for the centre, in very simple terms. We get marketed better through the group, through people in general, because they know, I hope our responsible profile as an owner. Ryan: Ok, anything else? Now this is a personal question. What caused you to adopt this point of view, both in terms of it’s a good thing but what makes up it. Centre Manager: Years of working with people on all levels. Ryan: So personal/ professional experience? Centre Manager: That was probably heightened by my first job, which put customer service as the pinnacle. Aimed for the highest status of customer service. Ryan: Other than your personal/ professional experience are there other things that have impacted on this view?

137

Centre Manager: I suppose from a business point of view there has been from past experience. When the business first started with fourteen experts that had worked on other schemes similar to this, we called on their experience. What lessons they had learned in the past. I suppose the final thing is the management style here has forced us to adopt a point of view where we have taken on a team of fairly focused group of individuals and moulded them into a team that are not discouraged from conversation and innovation. So if there is something to talk about, they will talk about it. If there is something for us to do, lets talk about it. We meet on a regular basis to enable that to happen. Ryan: Ok. Other than your professional experiences how has this viewpoint been shaped? Was it by your personal life, experience? Centre Manager: Yeah probably. Cause I was bastard to my parents early on when I first started work. And you reflect on that I think. I didn’t show them that I was responsible. Ryan: One of the questions here is what is your own viewpoint on recycling and things like that? Would you say that your moral viewpoint impacts heavily on your viewpoint of CSR? Centre Manager: I would think it would but it comes from quite a cynical side view. Ryan: Ok. Centre Manager: Because my view of recycling is that some points of them are right, then some are politicised to make us believe its right when in all honesty it does not help the issue at hand. I am a very technical person so I need a technical explanation for things in most respects. Like recycled paper, it’s good to recycle paper. When you actually get into it the technicality is not that good. It uses a lot of energy, puts a lot of dirty water into the system. You are actually cutting down trees that were specially grown to make paper to help the ozone. So where is the pressure here? Where is it going? It was the same issue in some respects with things like unleaded petrol and unleaded fuel. We lost sight of the fact that we were making a product with less calorific value so we actually use more of it, i.e. leaded fuel and the side issue was lead. What was the big problem with lead? Are we trying to solve the lead problem? Actually it made problems worse cause we produced and used more fossil fuels. Ryan: Same with natural fibres. Shall we use natural fibres not synthetic? Synthetic is actually better for the environment, it’s something like eight times more environmentally friendly than cotton. So I can understand the cynical viewpoint. Now do you think this viewpoint tempers the public man versus what actually happened? Centre Manager: Yeah, that’s why if you want to be honest, my viewpoint of the term corporate social responsibility can be quite cynical because I think it has been quite damning to what’s been going on for years. It just happens to be a buzzword. Ryan: That’s good ok, well speak about that later. One of my academic presuppositions is that CSR is nothing new, it’s a new term its purely about relationships. Centre Manager: I think there will be a proliferation of CSR consultancies in the next few years, telling businesses nothing that in theory that they either should have listened to before or invented themselves anyway. Ryan: How does the Retail centre put CSR into practice? Centre Manager: Again in very simple terms, in terms of our business and customers we focus on business service, in terms of trying to give those customers what they want and listening if there is something they haven’t got. Listening to what they say, to their complaints. I always tell the story about how M&S people used to say they get more complaints abut the food than others. I say yes they got more complaints but they actually listened. Companies that say yeah, ‘thanks madam that’s great, but that’s just the way it is’ always gets more complaints than companies who sit down and ask what about the problem. But that was the way it was. That’s why the Retail centre focuses on customer services. From that we have grown as a team first 2-3 years here .At first we were so inwardly focused here it hurt because it was a difficult site. It was a difficult experience. We were trying to prove people wrong, and we were so self focused it was painful and that hurt us due to the messages we were sending outside. We weren’t as involved with the outside world as we should have been. It took some relaxation of that emphasis to say, well actually what were doing and now its quite good. It’s given us a reputation. Let work with the broader field. Let’s work with more people who we effect. Ryan: So the main focus of the team is customer service. What are the other ways, like listening to the customers? Centre Manager: We have our community development program. Ryan: And what does the community development program do? Centre Manager: Well that gets us very directly to the members of the local community. These include business, education and the general community. Ryan: I’m sorry, how does it manifest itself? Centre Manager: Primarily on the education front. We are doing things now like special publications for schools and sponsorship. We supply the prizes for the national magistrates’ junior challenge. Also we have involvement in schools, Alison sits on the school government. Alison talks to the business community. We host meetings and we make our facilities available to the people of the local community.

138

Ryan: So you make yourself accessible? Centre Manager: I also work with the scouting organisation. Ryan: So managerial involvement with the local community? Centre Manager: Yes. We try to make our expertise available to the local groups. Ryan: The decision to get involved with the scouts, is that for business or is that longer term were you a scout? Centre Manager: I was a scout but it was driven by my wife’s connection. I was approached because they needed some business advice. Ryan: Other manifestations? Centre Manager: Other manifestations on the press front. We do try and tell people that we are good at new things. On the PR side of things broadcasting our is one of our strengths. We market a message that this is a good place to be. This is done through direct and implied marketing. Ryan: Are there anymore operational manifestations? Day to day activities? Centre Manager: Anything we do now. Our customer service desk and their interaction with customers. You know their ability to offer them information, which is potentially of no benefit to us, but is of benefit to the customer. We almost act as a mediator of information. We can direct people elsewhere. Our security staff are responsible for our customers. They deal with issues they have and also dealing with our retail partners stores. All of our staff shows responsibility for members of the public. Ryan: Anything else? Centre Manager: I suppose our charity funding, will hopefully manifest itself. People put money in our banks and we said, well let’s put that money to good use. And we make that money available for local charities. Ryan: Local charities? Centre Manager: Yeah. Ryan: Ok. Who do you believe the Trafford stakeholders to be? Centre Manager: Customers, 7 thousand retail staff. We have 360 directly employed staff. That’s in terms of personnel and then we have the company, Peel Holdings have 280 tenants. Ryan: Retailers? Centre Manager: Yep and there also local authorities, police, fire, and ambulance, Trafford Borough Council. Ryan: Ok. Centre Manager: I have other shoppers. Ryan: You would count competitors? Centre Manager: Both locally and nationally. Side B Ryan: Anyone else? You know there are other people here who help the Retail centre operate that should be on the list? Centre Manager: Yeah sorry, the suppliers. Ryan: Anyone else? I mean we may come back to those people. Now which of those stakeholders do you believe are involved in the Retail centre operation of CSR? Centre Manager: I think they are all involved on different levels. They may be in involved in terms of receiving evidence of CSR. They may by involved in understanding a responsibility. Ryan: Ok. Now why does the Retail centre put CSR into practice? Are we going back to the benefits that we have looked here? Centre Manager: I would say it comes back to the fact of what would happen if we didn’t put CSR into performance. We put elements into practice that we felt were going to be issues of best practice for the shopping centre industry. These were driven primarily by the desire to give our customers the highest levels of service. Ryan: Of the motives, the financial and the loyalty the business outcomes. Which of these stakeholders would you perceive to be involved in the communication of the central CSR activities? Centre Manager: Our customers, retail staff and our own staff, and Peel Holdings.

139

Ryan: By Peel Holdings do you mean the group company? Centre Manager: Yeah, the group company. Ryan: What about the financial investors, would we include them? Centre Manager: It’s one man, it’s the chairman. Ryan: Is it? Oh. Ok. Centre Manager: Our tenants, local authorities, we would talk to our competitors about it. And I talk to my family about it. Ryan: What about suppliers? Centre Manager: We do talk to our suppliers about it. We sometimes put pressure on them to achieve certain aims to again further our responsibility issues. Ryan: Ok. How do you communicate with these? Lets start with customers. How are you communicating and what are you communicating? Centre Manager: We communicate word of mouth. From the shop floor if you like. With the staff we talk directly. Also we communicate via marketing. Ryan: How does this manifest itself? Centre Manager: We are trying to market the fact this is a nice place to be and a nice company who owns it in those respects. Ryan: So with what marketing materials would you say that you are communicating your CSR? Centre Manager: We show in some of our guides the fact that we have children’s facilities. The fact that we are able to care for people likes. That we have facilities on site that perhaps they wouldn’t expect to see, like prayer rooms. Issues like that. Ryan: So when you say prayer rooms, one of the things you’re doing is taking account of religions and the needs of individuals. Centre Manager: Yeah it is not easy in a multi-cultural society. Ryan: So family needs, religious needs, any other needs? Centre Manager: Physical needs. Disabled facilities. Ryan: Any other ways, you said word of mouth, customer service? Centre Manager: Through our PR we are sending out positive press messages. Stories into the press etc. Ryan: Anything else? Centre Manager: Well its multi-faceted. A lot of our customers benefit either directly or indirectly through the community issues we do. Their children may go to school and be involved in a presentation. Ryan: So through community involvement program? Centre Manager: Yeah. Ryan: Anything else? Ok, retail staff? Centre Manager: Well again word of mouth, talk to them and meet them. We have a newsletter, and obviously they are also customers with us as well, so it is a double edged sword. Ryan: Now in the newsletter and via word of mouth what are you communicating? Centre Manager: Charity involvement, events that we might be doing. New members of the team like our travel co-ordinator who takes on transport issues. Ryan: Dedicated people for certain issues? Issue driven roles. Community and travel as two separate ones? Ok, so who is the travel person liasing with? Centre Manager: There’s liasing with our customers, with our retail staff, with our own staff, and the local authorities. Ryan: Anyone else? Centre Manager: National authorities in some respects.

140

Ryan: Are they communicating with anyone else other than national and local staff? Who’s implementing the travel plan? Centre Manager: We are. They are consultants I suppose we always have consultants who would contribute toward the travel plan. Ryan: But who is implementing the travel plan? Is the Retail centre physically moving people? Centre Manager: In some respects we are putting measures in place that would directly effect the means of travel for our customers. Ryan: Which are the means of travel? Centre Manager: We are currently active in the progress of the metro links. Ryan: Ok metro link? Buses? Taxis Centre Manager: Buses yes. We have our own bus station. We have an on site place for taxis. Ryan: So you run the busses? Centre Manager: We sub let. Ryan: So you don’t physically move the person. That’s what I was getting at. But what about the travel plan? Centre Manager: The transport co-ordinator is talking to the bus station managers and he is talking to the bus operators. Ryan: So the transport company is involved? Would you say that the national authorities, the bus companies are all involved in the CSR activities? Centre Manager: We wouldn’t be going down the travel plan route if we didn’t have some form of a conscience. It would be all too easy to say, 1000 car parking spaces so when they’re full, use your own. The travel plan is the overt issue in CSR. Ryan: The travel plan is the manifestation of the CSR activities. Ok, going back to the communicating to Retail centre staff. How are you communicating? Centre Manager: Word of mouth, predominantly driven by meeting at every level. So we start off on a Wednesday with senior operational mangers meetings and work down. Ryan: Cascade briefings? Centre Manager: Yes. Ryan: Any others? Centre Manager: Notice boards. The travel co-ordinator now has a notice board where she can put details and travel initiatives. And other notice boards for general information. Ryan: And when you say general do you mean achievements, events? Centre Manager: Yeah. Ryan: Any other ways with staff? Centre Manager: We have staff awards for customer service, general excellence. Ryan: How did that come about? Centre Manager: I can’t take credit for that. It was set in place from day one and came about from our core sponsors, When I started it was just a pat on the back every month for one person, and then every year we chose someone really good and gave them a prize. I have evolved it to a big off site party, more of an award ceremony. Ryan: Ok. Peel Holdings. How are you communicating with Peel Holdings? Centre Manager: Word of mouth and via our board. We report to the board on a monthly basis. Ryan: Board meetings? Centre Manager: Sometimes just through e-mail system. Ryan: What are you communicating to Peel Holdings? Centre Manager: We probably begin by showing the benefits the Retail centre would achieve and the potential benefits from that.

141

Ryan: Benefits achieved. Tenants? Centre Manager: Word of mouth, direct mail, we write to them quite often. We have these forms that they can fill out to discuss current issues. Again, we are communicating our need for them. By e-mail, we have a database contact for the residents and talk to them to let them know the issues. Ryan: Then this is communicated to the Retail centre staff. Centre Manager: Yes. We have this for the retailers as well. Ryan: And the local authorities, how are you communicating your CSR activities to them? Centre Manager: We obviously have regular contact with the emergency services, police, fire and ambulance. So for instance this weekend we have a training exercise. So they will use this site for training. We do the same for the police. We allow the police to use the site for training and operational issues. In terms of the ambulance service we are first responders for the ambulance service, so our response form our first aiders who can aid their response. So they know we have advanced first aiders on site. Ryan: So you have pro-active health and safety. With first aid, what do you mean by advanced? Centre Manager: We train an awful lot of the staff who learn basic first aid so they can keep the person alive if they collapse. Then we have the advanced first aiders who can administer oxygen. The advanced first aiders have the first days of paramedic training so the ambulance services recognise their presence as optimum response time. Ryan: Are there only some on duty, advanced? Centre Manager: Four in total. There are usually two or three on duty. Ryan: Any other ways that you communicate with the local authorities? Centre Manager: We have regular meetings with most of the local authorities. Ryan: Is there statuary reporting that goes on there? Centre Manager: Some, but that is a manifestation of our responsibility in some ways. There is some statutory reporting goes on, things like reportable incidents in health and safety. Ryan: Any other forms? Do you meet with competitors? Centre Manager: Again, yes I met with both local and national area “competitors”. I meet quarterly with the other five big regional shopping centres where we freely exchange information about operational acts and issues such as corporate responsibility. I also meet locally with the operators of the Arndale Centre, the Lowry Centre and the Manchester shopping centre group. .Again we have the same exchange. I also meet with the British council of shopping centres on a regional basis. These are verbal meetings, word of mouth. Ryan: Open chairing of experiences? Centre Manager: Yep. Ryan: Regarding suppliers, how are you communicating with them? Centre Manager: Mostly through the departmental managers and mainly thorough word of mouth. This is usually driven by need The need to talk to a particular supplier about a particular issue. We let them know what our responsible line is and we will then let them know what issues have come up. Ryan: Give an example of these issues. Centre Manager: We have discussed with our landscaper’s suppliers that we want to maintain the landscape to be environmentally friendly and to use fertiliser that meets the criteria. Ryan: Sometimes you specify how you want them to do the job on your property? Centre Manager: Yeah. Ryan: I was told every supplier has to do a risk assessment, which is very impressive. Your family, how do you communicate with them? Centre Manager: Word of mouth. Although with my immediate family its also presence because they come here quite often. Ryan: What are you communicating?

142

Centre Manager: Constantly communicating the efforts that you are making in terms of general issues, which go to form part of that responsibility that you are talking about. Ryan: Why do you communicate in this manner? Why does the Retail centre communicate in these manners as a whole, for example the notice board or the word of mouth method? What were the deciding factors for adopting these methods? Centre Manager: Again going back to day one, experience of others those who were setting up the system said this was the most effective way. We then evolved that to suit what we see as the best needs of the business. Nothing stands still in this place, it does evolve and a team of people drives that evolution. Ryan: So some trial and error? Centre Manager: Yes, absolutely! There are issues that we would look at now, that we would not do again. Ryan: Now, this evolution would you say one of the things that have made the communication change is because CSR has changed? Centre Manager: I don’t think the evolution has been driven by CSR as such. Well I suppose it has, the difficulty is in your mind you are getting it mixed up with the term which is new, and the process which isn’t. We evolve lots of things primarily because we want to do a better job for the customers Ryan: Would you say the expectations of your customers’ change and evolve? Centre Manager: Yes. Ryan: Would it be fair to say that, using that as your logic theme, that CSR is something that evolves then, that it is not static? Centre Manager: Noting in this business is static. We never claim to be perfect at anything. I think that is an important factor. Any member of the team wants to tell me they are working absolutely bloody perfect can… Ryan: Hand their notice in? The benefits of communicating to these stakeholders, would you perceive them to be looking back on the issues that we have discussed? Centre Manager: I think and I hope that it allows us to build trust with a lot of these people. The fact that we are open and are willing to discuss the facts and the measure s that we have taken, yes at certain points, hopefully it builds trust. Ryan: Why is it important that you build trust? Centre Manager: I suppose in some respects it is because of the degree of mistrust in our presence. So it is over coming some fears. Ryan: Over coming fears through business success? Centre Manager: There were very large elements of the community who thought who are these evil bastard developers building this monstrosity shopping centre. We sucked the life out of every other part of retail around us. We were killing it all off and also by the way we were creating traffic gridlock on all the roads so hat no one else could move about when travelling by car to Manchester. Ryan: These activities have to over come this? Centre Manager: Some of the primary functions were to be accepted as part of the community. Ryan: So it’s helped you gain acceptance? Gaining acceptance within the local community. What are the benefits? Are they only local? Centre Manager: We go nation-wide. Some of the press issues see us featured in national articles. Ryan: So it helps the profile? Centre Manager: Yes, it helps the profile. Discussing our elements of CSR with other people also helps us to understand where we have missed out. It helps us to assess our own abilities if you like and spot weaknesses. And again, that comes back to the fact that we don’t believe we are perfect, people always have a valid criticism to make. We can dismiss it but we listen to it and always allow the person the option. Ryan: Ok. And you believe that these benefits are connected to experience, are intuitive? Centre Manager: Absolutely. You assess the public perception of the Retail centre. I mean in some ways through Kate and her research that looks at the publics’ perception of the Retail centre. If it’s seen as friendly and warm, then that’s great we are doing our jobs. Ryan: Perceptual issues? Centre Manager: Yeah. Ryan: Research studies. Would it be possible to get a copy of the study that was done?

143

Centre Manager: You would have to speak to Kate. We do two batches of research a year, at the same time each year. Kate has also done some focus group work. Have a chat with Kate. Ryan: Research, experience and intuition. Anything else? Centre Manager: I suppose the word of mouth of others and those telling us what they think we have done a good job of or tell us about their issues. Ryan: Anything else? Ok I think we can stop it there. Centre Manager: We put ourselves in the position where we can defend our position quite often. We have here a lot of people that will put in claims. These can be accident claims, damage incident claims about the Retail centre .I think that CSR is seen as a means to some companies as a way of mitigating those offers really. In terms of say standing up in court and saying, we endeavour to do the best for our customers. You have to understand that unfortunately being in court with this company, when we were told we had done something wrong, and it cost the life of a boy is not something we are very proud of at all. Even though in its very simplest forms, as the coroner agreed, it was an accident, an accident that could have happened anywhere. But they very much made us aware of the fact that we had some responsibility and what we were actually prosecuted for in the end was [unclear] but that wasn’t how you were meant to feel. When you saw a family that had lost a child and you realise that we are responsible for every member of the public that walks thorough the doors, every member of staff that comes into work it’s something that really affects you. If something goes wrong someone wants to hold someone responsible and ultimately I know what that pressure is in this environment, in this 50 acre site. Ryan: Ok, thank you very much.

144

APPENDIX B QUESTIONS

MANAGEMENT COGNITIVE INTERVIEW

Overarching Questions for Cognitive Mapping Interviews
1) Does the Retail centre have an explicit definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR)? (If yes what is it?) 2) What does the term CSR mean to you? (Including what are the characteristics and attributes of CSR, as far as you are concerned.) 3) Is CSR a good thing or a bad thing? (If it is a good thing what are the benefits of it, and if it is a bad thing what are the issues with it?) 4) What caused you to adopt this point of view? 5) How does the Retail centre put CSR into practice? 6) Who do you believe the Retail centre's stakeholders to be? 7) Which of Retail centre’s stakeholders are involved in the operationalisation of CSR. 8) Why does the Retail centre put CSR into practice? 9) To which of its stakeholders does the Retail centre communicate its CSR definition, activities and expected results? 10) How does this communication manifest itself? (Both in terms of content and medium.)[If you have examples of this it would be useful if you could provide them.] 11) Why does the Retail centre communicate CSR in this manner? 12) What do you perceive to be the benefits of communicating CSR with these various stakeholders? (Tangible and Intangible) 13) Why do believe these are the benefits you will reap?

145

APPENDIX C

MANAGEMENT COGNITIVE INTERVIEW

OVERALL MAPS

146

1) Does the Retail Centre have an explicit definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR)? (If yes what is it?)

Definition?

NO

147

2) What does the term CSR mean to you? (Including what are the characteristics and attributes of CSR, as far as you are concerned.)

Tackling social issues Evolving to meet expectations Being run in a profitable manner
Communicating with stakeholders (2 way i.e. listening

Being accountable

CSR to You?
Operating in an ethical manner How organisations run their business

Organisations going beyond the laws and regulations of Organisations obeying the laws and regulations of

Community involvement/corpo rate citizenship

H& S
Commitment to quality of products and services Environmental Practices Corporate Governance Employment Practices Human Rights Practices

148

3) Is CSR a good thing or a bad thing? (If it is a good thing what are the benefits of it, and if it is a bad thing what are the issues with it?)

CSR Good or Bad?

Increased customer loyalty
Develops goodwill that helps organisations in time of crisis, scandal or significant issues

Enables customers to better understand organisation

Benefits to parent/associated companies

Produces a competitive advantage

GOOD

Increased staff loyalty

Builds/enhances reputation Builds relationships with stakeholders

Increased customer trade/purchases

149

4) What caused you to adopt this point of view?

Influence of friends and family

Personal Life

Upbringing/parentsguardians ethical viewpoint

Personal Moral Outlook

Self Reflection on personal experiences

Cause of Viewpoint?

Previous Employment Experiences

Professional Life
Education

Current organisational culture Ethical standpoints of previous superiors/mentors

150

5) How does the Retail Centre put CSR into practice? *Note as the centre had no explicit definition of CSR, these where the activities which the management felt where doing based on their own definition of CSR.

Charitable giving (Fountain Fund) Donation of used equipment (computers etc) Proactive staff and employment policies Green Transport Policy

Fair Trading Programme

CSR into practice?
Recycling Programme

Working to guidelines (investors in people, etc.)

Staff Awards Programme

Working with schools (curriculum pack, truancy sweep, etc.)

Catering for special needs of specific customer groups

Working closely with Organisations obeying the laws and regulations of society Local Authorities

Prayer room Proactive Children’s programmes (Play areas, face painting, child sized toilets, id tags, strollers, wrist link, baby changing areas.) Regulators EMS services

Award winning facilities for the disabled (toilets, Shopmobolity, sensory solutions)

Other local businesses

151

6) Who do you believe the Retail Centre's stakeholders to be?

Shoppers/Visitors Centre management Front of house/customer service centre staff

Regulators of retail centre (Parent Company, Accountant, etc)

Stakehold ers?

Back of house/non customer facings staff

Media (Television, Radio, Print, Internet)

Centre suppliers

Outside regulators Special interest groups

Staff of centre retailers Management of centre retailers

152

7) Which of Retail Centre’s stakeholders are involved in the operationalisation of CSR. *Note as the centre had no explicit definition of CSR, these where the stakeholders with which the management felt where involved in the operationalisation of CSR.

Shoppers/Visitors Centre management Front of house/customer service centre staff

Regulators of retail centre (Parent Company, Accountant, etc)

Stakeholders involved in CSR?

Back of house/non customer facings staff

Media (Television, Radio, Print, Internet)

Centre suppliers

Outside regulators Special interest groups

Staff of centre retailers Management of centre retailers

153

8) Why does the Retail Centre put CSR into practice?

Why is CSR put into practice?

To increase customer loyalty (visitors)
To develops goodwill that could help the centre in time of crisis, scandal or significant issues Enables customers to better understand the centre

To produce a competitive advantage

*note the retail centre did not undertake activities in the name of CSR but believed what is was doing to meet the definition of CSR was done to;

To benefit parent/associated companies

To increase staff loyalty

To build/enhance reputation To build relationships with stakeholders

To increase visitor footfall with aim of resulting in increase of trade/purchases for retailers

154

9) To which of its stakeholders does the Retail Centre communicate its CSR definition, activities and expected results? *Note as the centre had no explicit definition of CSR, these where the stakeholders with which communication activities where being carried out and the management felt they where doing to communicate activities being undertaken to satisfy their definition of CSR.

Shoppers/Visitors Centre management Front of house/customer service centre staff

Regulators of retail centre (Parent Company, Accountant, etc)

CSR is communicated to?

Back of house/non customer facings staff

Media (Television, Radio, Print, Internet)

Centre suppliers

Outside regulators Special interest groups

Staff of centre retailers Management of centre retailers

155

10) How does this communication manifest itself? (Both in terms of content and medium.)[If you have examples of this it would be useful if you could provide them.] 1- Word-of-mouth 2-Experience 3-Staff training 4-Staff handbook 5-Staff newsletter 6-Customer magazine 7-Customer service team 8-Centre Internet site 9-Schools pack 10-Centre brochures 11-Signs in centre 12- Face-to-face meetings with centre management 13-Staff boards 14-Big screen TV in centre 15-Centre community development officer 16-Centre retail liaison officer 17-Correspondance with Centre 18-On TV 19-On the radio 20-In the newspaper 21-In a magazine 22-On the Internet
Communication activities span and target stakeholders as a whole.
10 11 14 17 16 17 3

1 2 8 15 13 12 5 4 6

7

Shoppers/Visitors

12

13

Centre management

5 3

15 Front of house/customer service centre staff 16

4 4 5 12

Regulators of retail centre (Parent Company, Accountant, etc)
15 12

Stakehold ers?

3

13

Back of house/non customer facings staff
16

15

Media (Television, Radio, Print, Internet)
12 18 15

12

Centre suppliers

19

Outside regulators
20 15 12 21 22 9 12

Special interest groups
15

6

6 7

Staff of centre retailers
16

Management of centre retailers
7 12 16

156

11) Why does the Retail Centre communicate CSR in this manner?

Experience tells they are the best method

Affordable within budget

Why communicate in this manner?

External Advice

157

12) What do you perceive to be the benefits of communicating CSR with these various stakeholders? (Tangible and Intangible)

Increased customer loyalty (visitors)
Develops goodwill that could help the centre in time of crisis, scandal or significant issues

Enables customers to better understand the centre

Produces a competitive advantage

Benefits of Communicating CSR are?

To benefit parent/associated companies

Increased staff loyalty

Builds/enhances reputation Builds relationships with stakeholders

Increased visitor footfall that results in an increase of trade/purchases for retailers

158

13) Why do believe these are the benefits you will reap?

Intuition From conversations with other professionals

Why do believe these are the benefits?

Results of marketing surveys

159

APPENDIX D MANAGEMENT COGNITIVE INTERVIEW INDIVIDUAL MAPS: EXAMPLES

160

Example 1

161

Example 2

162

Example 3

163

APPENDIX E

QUANTITATIVE QUESTIONAIRE

164

INSERT PAGE 1 OF QUESTIONNAIRE

165

INSERT PAGE 2 OF QUESTIONAIRE

166

INSERT PAGE THREE OF QUESTIONAIRE

167

INSERT PAGE 4 OF QUESTIONAIRE

168

INSERT PAGE 5 OF QUESTIONAIRE

169

INSERT PAGE 6 OF QUESTIONAIRE

170

INSERT PAGE 7 OF QUESTIONAIRE

171

APPENDIX F

SPSS OUTPUT

172

APPENDIX G

REVIEW OF 2001 ANNUAL REPORTS

Appendix A
Included Within Annual Report. Corporate Governance Section Separate CSR Report Method of Evaluation for CSR element Indicated
7 7 4, 7 7 7 7, 13 All in varying forms. 7 7 4, 5, 7, 8, 15, 18, 27 7 7, 8, 9, 18 7 7 7 7 4, 7, 18 7,

In Directorate’s Statement

Addresses Social Issues Directly Code of Business Practice/Ethics Commitment to Value/Quality of Product or Services Community Involvement

7 All**** All**** 1, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 28, 29 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 7, 10, 20 1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 16, 18, 27 7, 10, 13, 27 All**** 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 10, 16, 17, 18, 26, 27 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 26, 27, 29 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 23 12 1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 26 1 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 21, 22, 23, 27, 29 13 5, 6, 8, 11, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 29 9, 10, 28, 29 7

Corporate Citizenship Corporate Governance

Stated Definition of CSR as whole Environment

20 16 1, 4,

10 5, 8, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 21, 23, 26, 27, 29

Health & Safety

16

8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 18, 27 10, 13, 27

Human Rights Open Communication Policies People/HR Philanthropy Pro-active Relationships with Government, Regulatory and Special Interest Bodies Responsibility to Share-holders Suppliers

2

2

1, 4, 6, 16, 17, 18 1, 5, 6 1, 6

10, 26, 27 8, 9, 10, 26, 27, 29 8, 9, 10, 23

All**** 4, 5, 6, 7, 10 **** In varying forms, locations and to varying degrees.

4, 5, 6, 7

173

In Separate CSR Section

In Chairman’s Statement

In CEO’s Statement

Element of CSR Found in Academic or Grey Literature

Annual Reports Company ManGroup Plc Electrocomponents Plc Legal & General: UK Select Investment Trust Plc Logica Canary Warf Group Plc SAB (2001) SAB (2001b) Nycomed Amershlam Old Mutual Hilton Group PLC National Grid Innogy BHP Billinton Shire Pharmaceuticals Group Plc EMI Group British American Tobacco Hays Plc BOC Group ARM Unilever Hanson The Royal Bank of Scotland Plc P&O Princess Cruises Wolseley Schroders Kingfisher Invensys Glaxosmithkline WPP Group Plc Allied Domecq Astrazeneca Number Code 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

174

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful