Theorizing CSR Reporting: A Discursive Institutionalism Framework
Although CSR reporting is a well-established business practice now, it is still an emerging genre that lacks convergence and standardization. Different theoretical perspectives are used to study CSR reporting. These perspectives agree on the instrumental nature of CSR reporting, while they vary in the aspects of the practice they emphasize and in their normative assumptions. Using ‘Discursive Institutionalism’ as a theoretical lens, different practices in the field can be incorporated in the proposed framework to reach a comprehensive understanding of CSR reporting phenomenon. The paper aims to propose a theoretical framework for CSR reporting research that enables a holistic and comprehensive explanation that is inclusive of different practices and normative assumptions in the field. The proposed framework utilizes new developments in Institutional Theory that emphasize multiple institutional logics, the hybridity of social practices, the role of social agents, and the discursive aspect of institutions. The proposed theoretical framework adds a new comprehensive perspective to CSR reporting research. It provides a solid theoretical base for further investigation of different practices in the field.
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