CBS Sustainability Seminar Series CSR: The Things We Do, The Things We Say

13.06.2018 | 15:00 - 17:00

Copenhagen Business School, Dalgas Have DH 2Ø.071 (The 2nd floor, east wing of the building), Dalgas Have 15, 2000 Frederiksberg

How do we walk the talk? Our communication and language is performative as it shapes our own actions and that of others. As such, ‘CSR-Talk’ influences conduct and can thereby be seen as a mechanism that frames organizational aspirations. Guided by Lars Thøger Christensen (Professor, Dep. of Management, Society and Communication, CBS) and Søren Obed Madsen (Assistant Professor, Dep. of Management Politics and Philosophy, CBS), this session will address the consequences of the language used within CSR communication; does it translate into meaningful action or rather mere ‘bullshit’?

As the language we use frames one’s behavior, Lars will discuss how CSR talk can function as an important resource for social change. Instead of regarding CSR communication as merely superficial and hypocritical, Lars argues that communication can be seen as performative through shaping one’s actions and aspirations. However, in order to allow for a connection between the talk and the walk to be established, one needs to acknowledge that actions unfold over time. Consequentially, many hindrances might come along the way which make it difficult to live up to one’s aspirations to the fullest extent. In this session, we will wonder how one can deal with excusing itself for this misalignment to avoid being depicted as hypocritical.

Søren will present us with the concept of ‘Othering’ and how it takes place within organizational processes. Depicting someone as ‘the other’, as a process of distancing or stereotyping, affects one’s actions, for the better or the worse. Additionally, how we ‘other’ certain groups or individuals, shapes the role they are expected to fulfill. Are CSR departments within organizations ‘othered’ in the sense that they need to be justified and need to argue for their position? And what are the consequences of this Othering?


Please sign up before the 10th of June, 2018 by sending an email to Lot Elshuis,