Edited by David Crowther and Linne Lauesen
Chapter 15: Ethnographic research methods in CSR research: building theory out of people’s everyday life with materials, objects, practices, and symbolic constructions
Research in corporate social responsibility (CSR) literature that uses ethnographic methods based on newer studies shows that ethnographic studies are typically used to get ‘under the skin’ of corporations and their interpretation and use (and misuse) of CSR. Most companies utilize the good motives of CSR for corporate branding, to obtain legitimacy and to form their identity according to be ‘a good corporation’ in the eyes of its stakeholders. However, these ethnographic studies show how corporations are not always aligned with the intentions of CSR, because their motives are typically steered by making profits as a primer, in which CSR becomes a means to this end, which is not the purpose of CSR eventually. Ethnographic research methods are splendid for in-depth studies of one or a few organizations for explorative and discursive studies of CSR suggesting new theory development. However, it would be an interesting approach to engage ethnographic studies with quantitative approaches in order to come further up the ladder of actually imposing that the findings from case studies can be found in more than one company/business sector (the studied one) – maybe even be statistically significant. Such mixed method studies can suggest new theory grounded on in-depth findings of a few examples, and if these findings should be verified or generalizable, it needs a quantitative (statistical, significant) doubling.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.