Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp 129–146 | Cite as

Corporate Social Responsibility as a Vehicle to Reveal the Corporate Identity: A Study Focused on the Websites of Spanish Financial Entities

  • Rafael Bravo
  • Jorge MatuteEmail author
  • José M. Pina


This study explores the relevance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an element of the corporate identity of Spanish financial institutions. Specifically, it aims to analyze the CSR actions developed by financial entities through the analysis of all the available information disclosed in their websites. A content analysis applied to 82 banking institutions, followed by different quantitative analyses, reveals the multidimensionality of CSR. Findings show that, while the number of entities institutionalizing CSR values as core elements of their identities is still reduced, most organizations disclose CSR information to construct communicated identities and legitimate behaviours. Besides, these dimensions are classified depending on the stakeholder the action is aimed to, and that entities favour the generation of distinctive identities through the implementation and communication of more visible CSR actions like those involving their customers or the community. In any case, results indicate that organizations with certain characteristics are more likely to construct distinctive identities through CSR activities and to establish ethical and social values within their corporate statements and cultures.


Corporate social responsibility Corporate identity Financial services industry Corporate website Content analysis 



Corporate social responsibility


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y EmpresarialesThe University of ZaragozaZaragozaSpain
  2. 2.Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud y del Deporte de HuescaThe University of ZaragozaHuescaSpain

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