Researches made on public relations and the internet show the relevance of the issue on interactivity between the organization and the public. Interactivity is one of the main characteristics and has been one of the main interests in researches made that concerns the field of communications (Ha & James, 1998). The previous studies which have been conducted presented the two basic approaches in determining the degree of interactivity that certain organizational websites have.
The first of which is the dissemination of information as suggested by Esrock & Leichty (1998). For this first approach, the degree of interactivity is low, the use of the internet is unidirectional and its objective is to diffuse information that could influence the public’s image of the company. On the other hand, the second approach, which basically deals with the generation of relationships between the different publics and the organization, the interactivity level is high and the internet is used to make bidirectional communication.
This allows building relationships by permitting dialogue and interaction between the public and a certain organization (Capriotti, 2006). Objectives This paper aims to look into the role of the internet, specifically corporate websites in developing long term relationships between the organization and the public and how this affects the former’s corporate social responsibility. In the same manner, this study would look into the importance of corporate social responsibility, being a legitimating activity for the organization in the society to their businesses.
Terms of Reference Data Gathering The data to be gathered in this research shall be qualitative in nature. The researcher shall look into the websites of the twenty companies obtained from random sampling. These shall be examined and analyzed. In the same manner, a representative from each company will be asked to accomplish the survey forms that contain questions pertaining to public relations and corporate social responsibility. Scope of the Research The companies that shall be used for the study will be limited to those that are in the United States of America.
These are the following: (1) Abercrombie & Filch, (2) American Airlines, (3) American Express, (4) Carl’s Jr, (5) The Coca-Cola Company, (6) Colgate-Palmolive, (7) The Walt Disney Company, (8) Estee Lauder Companies, (9) FedEx, (10) Hewlett-Packard, (11) Intel, (12) Kraft Foods, (13) McDonald’s Corporation, (14) Motorola, (15) Nike, (16) Northwest Airlines, (17) Paramount Pictures, (18) Pizza Hut, (19) Procter & Gamble and (20) Starbucks. Literature Review
A wide base of studies have lent evidence to the fact that good corporate citizenry does equate – directly or indirectly – to commercial success. Entities such as the Business for Social Responsibility and The Business Enterprise Trust in the United States of the Centre for Tomorrow’s Company and Business in the Community in Britain have synthesized empirical data along this area. For instance, the Centre for Tomorrow’s Company – whose own special conceptualization of corporate social responsibility initiatives it tagged the ‘inclusive approach’ has the following to say:
At the very least, the research supports the view that the inclusive approach, while serving shareholders’ interests, particularly in the long-term, does lead to business success as a result of improved customer satisfaction, greater commitment on the part of the employees, a more effective supply chain, and an enhanced reputation in the community at large (Centre for Tomorrow’s Success, 1998).
On the other hand, in the United States, the Business for Social Responsibility asserts the following: Over the past decade, a growing number of companies have recognized that the business benefits of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and practices. Their experiences are bolstered by a growing body of empirical studies which demonstrate that CSR has a positive impact on business economic performance, and is not harmful to shareholder value (www. bsr. org).