Turning CSR on it's head: CarrotMob.org using Social Media to entice local businesses to reduce their ecological footprint in the US and EU

Publikation: ForskningKonferenceabstrakt til konference

CSR takes a stakeholder approach that considers a broader definition of people who can affect and are affected by firms (Freeman 1984, Donaldson & Preston 1995). Currently, CSR is conceptualized from the perspective of firms choosing their practices based on communication with these stakeholders. However, from a technology perspective, Howe (2009) argues that the boundaries of the firm are becoming porous, and through social media people are contributing some of their best energy for free. These technology empowered stakeholders can be resources for strategy when the firm is seen as having porous, rather than impermeable boundaries. Thus, social and mobile media can be approached as a force that works at further eroding boundaries between the firm and technology empowered individuals equipped with their personal agendas and social media capital. As an example of social media turning tradition on its head, Carrotmob.org turns a firm-focused understanding of the CSR conversation upside down by providing a platform for consumers to bring their ideas about CSR to local firms, engaging the firms in a competition to pledge a percentage of their profits during an afternoon towards reducing their ecological footprint. Then CarrotMob members use social media to recruit as many customers as possible to shop at that time, thus increasing both profits and available resources for the business to engage in sustainability. As sustainability and CSR are enacted differently in the US and EU (Matten and Moon 2004, Kampf 2007), this paper analyzes YouTube videos of CarrotMob events, comparing and contrasting ways in which CarrotMob events are conceptualized, practiced and presented differently in EU and
US cultural, and CSR contexts.

Freeman, R. E, 1984. Strategic Management: A stakeholder approach. Boston: Pitman. ISBN 0273019139.
Donaldson, T., Preston, L. E. 1995. "The Stakeholder Theory of the Corporation: Concepts, Evidence, and Implications". Academy of Management Review (Academy of Management) 20 (1): 71.
Howe, J. 2008. Crowdsourcing: Why the power of the crowd is driving the future of business. Crown Business Publishers.
Kampf, C. 2007. “Corporate social responsibility: WalMart, Maersk and the cultural bounds of representation in corporate web sites.” Corporate Communications: An International Journal. 12(1).
Matten, D. and Moon, J. 2004. „Implicit‟ and „explicit‟ CSR: a conceptual framework for understanding CSR in Europe. ICCSR Research Papers Series– ISSN1479-5124 No. 29-2004. http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/business/ICCSR/pdf/ResearchPdfs/29-2004.pdf, visited 1 July 2005.
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KonferenceEUKO the 11th Interdisciplinary Symposium of the Research Network European Cultures in Business and Corporate Communication

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