Title: An analysis of the ethical frameworks and financial outcomes of corporate social responsibility and business press reporting of US pharmaceutical companies
Authors: Helen LaVan; Lori S. Cook; Ivana Zilic
Addresses: Driehaus College of Business, DePaul University, 1 East Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604-2287, USA ' Driehaus College of Business, DePaul University, 1 East Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604-2287, USA ' Driehaus College of Business, DePaul University, 1 East Jackson Boulevard, Chicago, IL 60604-2287, USA
Abstract: We use content analysis to discern ethical patterns of communication differences between the business press and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports in the US pharmaceutical sector. The methodology is based on content analysis of documents in the public domain, rather than based on surveys or interviews of other empirical work, allowing for replication and transparency. The qualitative and statistical analysis of our data indicates that there are statistically significant differences between how CSR is communicated in the business press and in the CSR documents themselves. However, there was not a statistical relationship between having a formal CSR report and financial outcome as measured by return on assets. The results indicate that individuals and organisations charged with communicating the organisations' activities should be cognisant of where there are differences and should develop communication processes to assure the company is disseminating the correct message in the reporting of their CSR activities.
Keywords: corporate social responsibility; CSR; business ethics; teleological ethics; deontological ethics; ethics of care; the USA; pharmaceutical; business press; big data.
International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics, 2021 Vol.15 No.3, pp.326 - 355
Accepted: 13 Jan 2021
Published online: 27 Jul 2021 *