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Corporate social responsibility communication of German family firms: a content analysis

Abstract

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) gained importance over the last years. Yet, only few studies have investigated CSR in German family firms. This study analyzes the CSR communication of 714 listed German family and non-family firms using a content analysis of CSR mission statements. We find that family firms put strong emphasis in their CSR communication on the philanthropic dimension and convey CSR as part of their corporate culture. Non-family firms, in turn, are more likely to describe CSR as part of their corporate strategy.

Zusammenfassung

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) hat in den letzten Jahren stark an Bedeutung gewonnen. Wenige Studien jedoch befassen sich mit CSR in Familienunternehmen. Die vorliegende Studies untersucht die CSR Kommunikation von 714 an der Börse gelisteten Familien- und Nichtfamilienunternehmen. Die empirischen Ergebnisse zeigen, dass Familienunternehmen im Vergleich zu Nichtfamilienunternehmen in ihrer CSR Kommunikation mehr Wert auf die philanthropische Dimension von CSR legen und CSR eher als Teil ihrer Unternehmenskultur und weniger als Teil ihrer Unternehmensstrategie verstehen.

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Correspondence to Jörn Hendrich Block.

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The research benefited from generous research support of the EQUA Stiftung and the Hans-Frisch-Stiftung.

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Block, J., Stiglbauer, M., Kühn, AL. et al. Corporate social responsibility communication of German family firms: a content analysis. uwf 23, 251–257 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00550-015-0366-3

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Keywords

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Family Firm
  • Corporate Social Responsibility Activity
  • Corporate Culture
  • Supervisory Board