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Corporate Reporting. An Integrated Approach to Legitimacy Claims.

Project: Research

  • Department of Language and Business Communication
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One of the most important issues in today's business and industry is the question of legitimacy. From a corporate communication perspective the claim is even made by Christensen, Morsing, and Cheney (2008, p. 14) that  "[t]he driving force behind corporate communications has always been the quest for social legitimacy". In this respect it is basically the overall aim of corporate communication to obtain the necessary license to operate by means of the strategic management of all kinds of communications in an organization - some of the key words here being integration, coordination, and interdisciplinarity. Moreover in order to appear as essential and accepted members of the larger community and thus to obtain social legitimacy, organizations are concerned with the establishment of trust and credibility amongst others via the creation of transparency. At the same time organizations are faced with increasing legitimacy and transparency claims from external stakeholders - illustrated by the OECD Principles on Corporate Governance, the Global Reporting Initiative, and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 - claims which have made reporting more important than ever. However, from a corporate communication perspective, reporting seems to be the subject but of the specific areas of communication, such as financial communication and CSR communication and not part of the integration project of corporate communications, cf. above. Potentially this might lead to "disconnected reporting" at the risk that the quality of management and governance is being questioned, as pointed out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (2010). On the basis of the above, the aim of the project is to introduce the concept of corporate reporting as "an issue of integration" within the framework of corporate communications and to discuss the opportunities and challenges of corporate reporting as a driver for gaining social legitimacy.
Effective start/end date01/10/201030/06/2011

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ID: 128882086