Publication Date

Fall 2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Mass Communications

Advisor

Mathew Cabot

Keywords

Corporate Social Responsibility, Fortune 10 Green Giants, Framing, Website

Subject Areas

Mass Communications; Journalism

Abstract

This thesis reports a framing study of corporate social responsibility on the Internet. The study explores how Fortune 10 Green Giants frame corporate social responsibility on their websites. The Green Giants are Honda, Continental, Suncor, Tesco, Alcan, PG&E, S.C. Johnson, Goldman Sachs, Swiss Re, and Hewlett-Packard. According to Fortune magazine, these 10 companies have gone beyond what the law requires to operate in an environmentally responsible way. The study is focused on the textual content of these 10 corporation websites. The study involves identification of frames, determination of the most used and the least used frames, and identification of patterns in the way corporate social responsibility is framed by these 10 corporations.

Using framing as the method, this study demonstrates how corporations frame the phenomenon of corporate social responsibility to manage their reputation and guide the public discourse on the issue. The relevant tabs of textual content on the websites were analyzed for the presence of frames and keywords that denote acts of and commitment to corporate social responsibility exhibited by the organizations. The most used frame was Awareness, and the least used frame was Transparency. A pattern was also detected in the way the proposed frames appeared on the 10 websites. To maintain the objectivity of the study, intercoder reliability was determined. The intercoder reliability ranged from 0.8 to 0.93.

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