Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research We Invite you to Submit

Themed Issue: Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Relations in Africa: Revisiting Old Paradigms and Exploring New Pathways

Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research

Corporate social responsibility is increasingly becoming the ideal and approved mode of sustaining good relations between corporate bodies and their surrounding communities. Social responsibility espouses good relations between corporations and the communities they work in as well as between other stakeholders. The building of a strong relationship is essential for the simple reason that a corporation’s ability to operate effectively is partly dependent upon the community’s understanding of the corporations’ business activities, their acceptance and the provision of a conducive environment for the corporation to operate (Du & Vieria, 2012). However, there seems to be a disconnect between the perceptions of what communities desire from such social interventions and what has been provided in many documented instances. Eventually situations have occurred where the desired effects of the initiatives by corporate bodies is almost non- existent in beneficiary communities. This arguably can be attributed to the apparent lack of well-established relationship and trust between corporations and communities.

There is a growing body of literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and varying definitions of the concept across many countries as well as within academic literature. Some scholars recognise the value of institutions in determining the relations between corporations and their stakeholders and hence insist on an institutional approach to the analysis of what determines relations in the sector (Campbell, 2007). Others however insist that we use a more holistic approach that takes into account historical perspectives, regulatory frameworks and the various actors involved in the practice of CSR (Campbell, 2012). From an analysis of such relations, corporate social responsibility is also analysed through the lenses of the relationship between corporate bodies and other stakeholders such as employees, customers, investors, environment, etc. and the degree to which the expectations of stakeholders are met. Further, the literature discusses the concept to be a projection of an ideal public image which is the rhetoric of some corporations whilst in reality the benefits of the said activities are not felt by the communities they seek to provide for (Lebbon, 2017). Such discourses call for more research and hence this special issue which will contribute to the growing body of knowledge on socially responsible behaviour and the links to community relations. In this special issue, community relations is defined as a corporation’s interactions with the people constituting the environment it operates in and draws resources from, to foster mutual understanding, trust, and support. Additionally, it is conceptualised according to Kemp (2010) as a three-dimensional practice that involves working for the company to understand local community perspectives; bridging community and company perspectives to generate dialogue and mutual understanding and; facilitating necessary organisational change to improve social performance.

We especially welcome conceptual and empirical research on the extractive industry that employs theories and frameworks which aid our understanding of how relations are being brokered at the community level. Specific areas of interest in this special issue include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Community transformation through social interventions
  • Community volunteering and participation in corporate social responsibility initiatives
  • Building of networks and trust through social interventions
  • Building sustainable community relations in the extractive sector
  • Antecedents and consequences of social interventions for community relations
  • Strategic CSR and Community Development

Submission Schedule

  • Submission Period: 15 October 2017 – 28 February 2018
  • Author notification: 1 April 2018
  • Revised papers due: 1 May, 2018
  • Second notification: 1 June, 2018
  • Final revisions due: 1st July 2018
  • Notification of Acceptance: 15th July 2018

PLEASE NOTE: The submission deadline for FULL PAPERS for this special issue is 28 February 2018, with an expected publication date of December 2018. Authors must please follow the submission guidelines for Communicatio.

If you are unsure of the suitability of your topic or have questions regarding a submission, please contact one of the special issue guest editors:

Prof. Robert E. Hinson, University of Ghana Business School, rhinson@ug.edu.gh / hinsonrobert@gmail.com (Principal Guest Editor for Themed Issue)

Dr. Antoinette Tsiboe-Darko, Centre for Social policy Studies, University of Ghana, atsiboe-darko@ug.edu.gh / ani_94@yahoo.com

Mr. Henry Boateng, University of Technology Sydney, Australia, Henry.Boateng@uts.edu.au/ hboateng85@gmail.com

Bibliography
Campbell, B. (2012). Corporate Social Responsibility and Development in Africa: Redefining the roles and responsibilities of public and private actors in the mining sector. Resources Policy. 37, (2), 138-143
Campbell, J. (2007). Why would corporations behave in socially responsible ways? An institutional theory of corporate social responsibility. Academy of Management Review, 32(3) 946-967.
Du, S., & Vieira, E. T. (2012). Striving for legitimacy through corporate social responsibility: insights from oil companies. Journal of Business Ethics, 110(4) 413-427.
Kemp, D. (2010). Community Relations in the global mining industry: exploring the internal dimensions of externally oriented work. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 17(1) 1-14.
Lebbon, V. (2017). Without proper regulation is corporate