Corporate social responsibility (CSR), as “the social responsibility of business encompasses the economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary expectations that society has of organizations at a given point in time” (Carroll, 1979, p. 500), has been occupying a significant role in society. As an essence of CSR, stakeholder engagement, which is a “process of involving individuals and groups that affect or are affected by the activities of a company” (Sloan, 2009, p. 26), enables an organization to understand stakeholders’ expectations, interests, and information needs, particularly in the financial market (Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing Limited, 2020). In the digital era, organizations are willing to use digital media to engage with stakeholders in the context of CSR (Bowen, 2013). Hence, with the growing concern on digital stakeholder engagement for CSR communication, a content analysis of ESG (environmental, social and governance) reports published in 2020 in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange was conducted to investigate how sampled listed companies engaged with stakeholders via digital media. The sampled companies are the constituents of the Hang Seng ESG Index (N=60) and the Hang Seng ESG 50 Index (N=50). The results identified the usage of digital media platforms in stakeholder engagement based on different stakeholder groups (customers, employees, citizens, investors). By synthesizing engagement theories across disciplines (e.g., Devin & Lane, 2014; Dhanesh, 2017), a proposed framework of digital stakeholder engagement in CSR will be discussed. This study provides theoretical and practical implications to researchers and practitioners for rethinking the effectiveness of digital stakeholder engagement in CSR.
Suk Chong Tong, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong
Mei Mei Kwok, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong
Tung Keith Tsui, Hong Kong Shue Yan University, Hong Kong
Yee Man Theresa Chan, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong