CSR stakeholder dialogue in Web 2.0: a case study

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School of Business | Master's thesis
MSc Degree Programme in Creative Sustainability
Creative Sustainability -maisteriohjelma
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Objective of the Study: The objective of this thesis is to examine CSR stakeholder dialogue in Web 2.0 and identify essential factors for mutually beneficial stakeholder dialogue processes. Through a thorough investigation on the phenomenon, the study aims to evaluate stakeholder dialogue as a component of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and examine, whether conflict-based stakeholder dialogue enhances organizational learning. Furthermore, Web 2.0 technologies as instruments for CSR stakeholder dialogue are contrasted with the conventional dialogue channels. Specifically, the goal of this research is to understand both manager and stakeholder expectations and experiences on CSR stakeholder dialogue, as well as how Web 2.0 technologies are used to facilitate discourse between stakeholders and managers. Theory and Methodology: The former literature did not provide an individual framework through which the phenomenon could have been explored. Hence, the central concepts of this study were adopted from a variety of sources. However, the theory is mainly defined by Deetz's (2007) work, which implies that conflict discloses diverse views, which enhances creativity and learning, and thereby, fulfills diverse goals. Four themes relevant to Web 2.0 based CSR stakeholder dialogue were identified - managerial approach, conflict management, organizational learning and Web 2.0. The themes were refined into four thesis statements, which were tested through the empirical case study of this research. The case study focused on dialogue between Talvivaara Mining Plc. and its stakeholders, specifically in Paikanpäällä.fi blog. The case study consisted of eight interviews, three with Talvivaara's managers and five with Talvivaara's stakeholders. Findings and Conclusion: The findings of this study mostly conform the previous findings on the subject, but also introduce new additions to the existing literature. Particularly, the findings indicate that managers lack sufficient skills, models and resources for using managerial tools for mutually beneficial stakeholder dialogue. Furthermore, it is suggested that conflict can only lead to mutually fulfilling outcomes, if managers and stakeholders are committed to proactive, open and learning-oriented dialogue. It is also argued, that active and multi-way CSR stakeholder dialogue has the potential of providing means for organizational learning. Finally, it is indicated that Web 2.0 technologies are an essential part of extensive and learning-oriented CSR stakeholder dialogue.
corporate social responsibility, CSR, stakeholder dialogue, Web 2.0, CSR 2.0, multi-way dialogue, conflict management, organizational learning, interactive communication, stakeholder theory, Talvivaara