This chapter focuses on the benefits of using a mixed methods approach when researching Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The author’s research investigates a sample of debtors’ and debt collectors’ perceptions of responsibility and blame for consumer debt by using a number of research methods: qualitative in-depth interviews, focus groups, and quantitative online surveys. Using mixed methods for the research approach was advantageous for a number of reasons: utilizing a number of methods ensures that the researcher can enjoy the qualities of several different research methods; further, using different methods enables the researcher to recognize and assess the validity and reliability of a single research method when comparing it against another. The author will outline to the reader the strengths, shortcomings, representativeness and validity of the aforementioned research methods, along with the sampling strategy used by the author as a CSR researcher. This chapter is aimed at early career researchers in the field of CSR to provide them with an overview of using a mixed methods approach in CSR research and, specifically, a more detailed insight into the methods of interviewing, focus groups and surveys, using the author’s research as a case study.
Linne Marie Lauesen
Storytelling is a method for improved writing styles often used in fiction, drama, movies, and disciplines that work with a storyline. Academic writing has often been claiming that it differs from stories by its factual content. However, to convince its highly skilled readers, a proper storyline is also needed for the communicating part of writing scientific papers, books, or presentations. Thus, storytelling is as vital for scientific writing as well. This chapter shows the mechanisms of the Narrative Arc with examples from the literature in corporate social responsibility in order to make readers reflect upon their communicative performance. It aims to provide a tool to improve the writing skills of academic writers regardless of research methods.
As a viable multidisciplinary method, social network analysis (SNA) has been frequently used to reveal the nature and structure of relationships among different actors in a network or to analyse the network itself for a long time. This network perspective together with considering the relational aspects of phenomena can be particularly useful to conceptualize and analyse the social, economic, or political structures of social units. Therefore, this social network perspective can be also used in the analysis of the relational context of social responsibility and ethical issues. The purpose of the current study is to provide a viable understanding of the application of social network analysis (SNA) for corporate social responsibility (CSR) literature. In doing so, this study first provides a conceptual framework of SNA and then briefly discusses its paradigmatic stance and methodological approach based on the relevant literature. In the second section, it is analysed whether and how SNA can address our CSR related research problems over three selected research mainstreams: stakeholder management, collaborative social responsibility projects, and ethical conduct among employees.
Habib Zaman Khan and Md. Rashidozzaman Khan
A thorough knowledge in terms of understanding sampling and sampling techniques has been of paramount importance for CSR researchers before they aim to conduct field research using quantitative study. The current chapter discusses sampling and sampling techniques that are essential for designing a quantitative research method. After studying the chapter, readers are expected to understand the necessity of sampling, different types of sampling techniques, merits and demerits of different sampling methods such as probability and non-probability sampling, situations where one sampling method is preferable than another in the case of a CSR research project, the recent trends of sampling techniques and how to select a suitable sampling design in the CSR research.
There has been much controversy as to the advantages and legitimacy both of quantitative and qualitative research methods in the management area and more widely in the social sciences. There have also been differences as to whether one can combine quantitative with qualitative methods, or whether the two approaches are ‘incommensurable’. It is proposed in this chapter to put forward definitions of each research method; outline their main features; discuss their applications with particular reference to the management area; examine their advantages and disadvantages; set out the critiques regarding each method and whether they are ‘commensurable’ with each other or not. These issues are the subject of this chapter, which involves a discussion as to the preponderance of quantitative research methods in mainstream management scholarship (although there is also a significant number of management scholars using qualitative or mixed research methods). Claims for the legitimacy of quantitative over qualitative approaches because of the scientific methods used in the former are examined in the light of what has been written by prominent historians of science such as Kuhn (1970) and Feyerabend (1993), and social theorists, for example Bourdieu (1990). Ultimately an argument is made for commensurability, complementarity and inclusiveness wherever possible.
Sonali Bhattacharya, Madhvi Sethi, Abhishek Behl and V.G. Venkatesh
Regression analysis is one of the most frequently used tools in market research. In its simplest form, regression analysis allows researchers to analyse relationships between one independent and one dependent variable. In corporate social responsibility domain applications, the dependent variable is usually the outcome we care about (e.g., beneficiaries), while the independent variables are the instruments we have to achieve those outcomes with (e.g., economic and legal responsibility). Knowing about the fact that the relative strength of effects is useful for companies as it may help answer questions such as if the behaviour depends more strongly on types of factors such as societal or environmental factors. Most importantly, regression analysis will help to compare the effects of variables measured on different scales. Regression analysis can also help make predictions which are precise and can be used to study the dynamics of a company in future. A corporate social responsibility (CSR) team can thus strategize plans and allocate funds for proper and effective outputs. Similarly, different CSR research works used regression analysis for the various objectives. In the current CSR research domain, it is important to understand the fundamentals of regression analysis and various usages of the techniques. The chapter will also discuss various advanced techniques and their applications in the CSR domain. It would lead the researchers to diligently choose those relevant variant techniques in the research.
In order to conduct research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) one must first define CSR. At present there are admittedly chaotic and conflicting analyses provided by rival theorists. What we seek is a clear definition unencumbered by private agendas. In order to accomplish this we need the following: 1. an understanding of ‘social’ institutions 2. a definition of a corporation as a ‘social’ entity, specifically as a ‘commercial’ entity 3. an account of how corporations relate to other social institutions (including political and legal ones) 4. some understanding of what it means to evaluate the performance of social institutions in general and commercial ones in particular 5. the disambiguation of legal responsibility from ‘social’ responsibility.
Julia J.A. Shaw
Although many stakeholder perspectives are concerned with the moral responsibility of business in relation to creating social benefits, evidence suggests that there is a lack of consensus on the nature of those responsibilities that ought to be assumed by companies in a given society. In the context of almost daily reports of unfair or discriminatory business practices and a growing number of social and environmental scandals, particularly those relating to the financial sector, corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are too often arbitrary and only serve to justify the deeper extension of market forces into an already imploding social body. This chapter uses a phenomenological methodology to investigate what is necessary to achieve a consensus on identifying fair, right and just actions in a modern globalized corporate environment, by exploring the procedural ethical approaches of neo-Kantians, John Rawls and Jürgen Habermas. Their articulation of a moral framework of intersubjective principles of right and fairness is used to explore the possibility of establishing a minimum standard of fair and just practice, which is capable of extending to all stakeholders as a benchmark or even prerequisite for best CSR practice.
This chapter will focus on the participant observation method as one of the data collection tools for corporate social responsibility (CSR) research and it will present information oriented towards how we can use especially the participant observation method in our research. When we approach the issue in methodological terms, observation is a tool that can provide us with important data resources within the method that we chose based on the research problem. Conducting a study based on qualitative study principles requires detailed planning and acting accordingly. The use of ethnography in a study in organizations is often performed as a part of a grounded theoretical framework, a sound research design, data collection tools, effective analysis methods and validity-reliability calculations. Research design starts with the determination of the research question and related questions thereto, and then follows a cyclical process. Researchers choose among these options depending on their research design.Although it is believed that providing detailed information about these tools will be useful to guide researchers, who are planning to apply quantitative research methods, it will increase the length of this chapter considerably. With these techniques, the participant observation method, which is considered as almost equaling ethnography, will form our fundamental discussion point for this chapter.
Duván Emilio Ramírez Ospina and José Fernando Muñoz Ospina
The current chapter is the result of the investigation ‘Role and behavior of corporate organizations in the context of sustainability’ and of the reflection of that line of research in the Department of Doctoral Studies of Human and Social and Sustainable Development of the University of Manizales, Colombia. Its construction is part of the analysis of methodologies and processes adapted to different sectors in the field of corporate social responsibility in Colombia. Thus, it addresses many of the themes from the Master’s and Doctoral theses from different citizens and universities in Colombia. It also takes into account many different scientific articles and published documents from Colombian authors. Observed works make use of qualitative, quantitative, mixed, and triangulation methodologies. It was noted that these methodologies are oriented towards the understanding and explanation of principles defined in the areas of government business organizations to cope with the social, economic, and environmental factors, the reconfiguration of values that guide the conduct of corporations, the definition of management and production strategies for the solution of systemic organizational problems, and the redefining of certain corporate practices with the purpose of increasing cohesion and legitimacy between the corporation and society.