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3rd CSR Communication Conference


Conference theme introduction

After two very successful conferences, in 2011 (Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and 2013 (Aarhus, Denmark), the time has come to invite you to a 3rd CSR COMMUNICATION CONFERENCE to be hosted by the University of Ljubljana, held in September 2015 in Ljubljana (Slovenia).

With universally high CSR expectations of various stakeholders communicating CSR efforts has never been more important as it is today. In the last few years the attention given to CSR communication has expanded rapidly. On one hand this is shown in the increasing numbers of scholarly research studies dedicated to different aspect of CSR communication, and on the other in the progressively visible communicative practice of CSR. In the 2013 study by KPMG, which continuously monitors CSR communication and reporting of the world’s biggest corporations, it is indicated that CSR communication has become a mainstream business practice worldwide with 93% of the world’s largest corporations engaging in different CSR communication practices and reporting. In addition, biannual CONE 2013 global CSR study among consumers shows that nine in ten global consumers (91%) are eager to hear about CSR initiatives and progress.

CSR communication can be defined as a process of anticipating stakeholder expectations, articulation of CSR policy and the managing of different communication tools designed to provide true and transparent information about a company or a brand’s integration of its business operations, social and environmental concerns, and interactions with stakeholders. As such for many corporations, CSR communication has become a balancing act between the interests of the organization and its varied stakeholders.

Globally operating organizations are involved in a wide variety of projects to support the communities in which they are operating in various ways. Many of these organizations also claim that sustainability and responsibility are included in their identity profile as a strategic business orientation. Here, communication experts who can be seen as a link between the organization and its stakeholders often assume responsibility for CSR-related issues and are also responsible for preventing the attempts to over-communicate and exaggerate in CSR-related messages. The research repeatedly shows that consumers and other stakeholders demand the CSR messages to be honest and clear.

With becoming more and more informed, stakeholders are also more involved and more eager to participate in shaping CSR discourses, which is mainly done using social media. Hence, businesses must embrace the new reality and think about how these different voices can help them improve their CSR practices and how to engage them in dialogues by pursuing dynamic, interactive communication.

Targeted at academics and practitioners, the organizers hope the conference will provide a wonderful opportunity for academics and professionals to network, discuss, debate and exchange ideas and viewpoints in the one of Europe's greenest and most lively capitals, Ljubljana.

We are inviting scholars to submit their empirical and conceptual work on the broad theme of ethical positioning of the organization, and the use of communication in its broader essence to participate in this unique event in the picturesque city of Ljubljana. Relevant subtopics include, but are not restricted to, the following:

- CSR in social media context
- Different aspects of “CSR washing”
- Cause related marketing and other communication practices to consumers
- Critical views on corporate marketing practices 
- Environmental aspects of CSR communication 
- Tools for communicating CSR
- CSR communication best practices
- SME perspectives on CSR communication
- Internal and external aspects of CSR communication    
- International aspects of CSR communication
- Organizational aspects of CSR communication
- Theories related to CSR communication    

Pre-conference event: PhD seminar for students in Corporate and CSR Communication

A special seminar/section for Ph.D. students will also be organized and will take place prior to the conference, on September 16 & 17, 2015. The seminar will be dedicated both to corporate and CSR communication themes. More information for PhD students will be available on the conference website (

Conference submissions

In collaboration with “Corporate Communications: an International Journal”, we invite academic researchers and educators, particularly in the field of Corporate Communication, Marketing, Management and Organizational Studies, as well as practitioners seeking information and knowledge on CSR communication to participate in dialogue and set trends.

This conference and subsequent journal special issue will consider both theoretical and empirical papers and extended abstracts for review, and ideas for session proposals are welcomed. The objective of special sessions is to acquaint educators and researchers with new perspectives, theories, and provocative ideas. In submitting special session proposals, the organizer and listed participants request that, if accepted, they all register and appear at the conference.

Successful authors will present their papers at the conference and all competitive papers accepted for the conference will be reviewed for Corporate Communications: An International journal (CCIJ). The conference will consider both full competitive and working papers.

Please note that all papers must conform to the format instructions and will be subjected to formal blind review. Authors will be notified of acceptance, rejection or suggested modifications as soon as the review processes have been completed. Acceptance of a paper means that the author (or one of the authors) will present the paper at the conference.

Abstracts submission deadline

Your structured conference abstracts following the CCIJ abstracts’ form should be submitted by February 25, 2015 via the conference website:

Other important information is available on the conference website where the conference venue, relevant dates and invited speakers will be announced.

Guest editors
Urša Golob, Centre for Marketing and Public Relations, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Klement Podnar, Centre for Marketing and Public Relations, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
Wim Elving, ASCoR, Corporate Communication Department, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Anne-Ellerup Nielsen, Centre for Corporate Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark
Christa Thomsen, Centre for Corporate Communication, Aarhus University, Denmark

For details about the conference please contact: [email protected].