We invite academic researchers and educators in the field of Corporate Communication, Marketing, and Management as well as practitioners seeking information and knowledge on CSR communications to participate in dialogue and set trends

CSR Communication: New Challenges in an Age of Digitalization and Disinformation

CSRCOM 2022 Call for paper is available here

“We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic”, the UN’s secretary general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus remarked in 2020 in response to the then emerging COVID-19 pandemic. The statement suggests that the communicative landscape in which contemporary firms operate has changed significantly over the past decade – and with this also the conditions under which firms and their constituents can engage in in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communication. On the one hand, the rise of digital media, and especially social media such as Facebook or Twitter, have considerably expanded the range of possibilities for firms to engage in interactions and dialogue with their stakeholders (e.g., Glozer et al., 2019; Maltseva et al., 2019). On the other hand, digital media have also created problems of increasing loads of disinformation (Bennett & Livingston, 2020) and “fake news” (Tsoukas & Knight, 2019) that are shared on their platforms and that make it difficult for actors to differentiate between trustworthy and “real” news sources and dubious and deceptive ones. Some observers even go as far as to say we have entered the age of a “post-truth society” where traditional values of a fact-based information provision are eroding and doubt, even regarding scientific knowledge is spreading (Meyer & Quattrone, 2021).

While the field of CSR communication in research and practice is traditionally concerned with how actors in and around organizations then negotiate meanings about these activities, both in interactions with external stakeholders (e.g., NGOs, the media) and/or with internal stakeholders (e.g., employees) (Schoeneborn, Morsing & Crane, 2020; Schoeneborn & Trittin, 2013), the age of digitalization and disinformation creates substantially new challenges for CSR communication (Glozer, Caruana & Hibbert, 2019; Verk, Golob & Podnar, 2021). How to legitimize a firm’s business activities with CSR communication that draws strongly on fact-based information (as recommended, e.g., by Morsing et al., 2008), if we live in a society where some actors do not care much about facts or easily dilute these them with “alternative facts” of dubious origin? How to handle stakeholder dialogue via digital media in an increasingly heated and polarized public discourse? And how to prevent that more and more firms tend to go for the option of “greenhushing” (Font et al., 2017) or “strategic silence” (Carlos & Lewis, 2018), that is, to abstain from CSR communication whatsoever out of precaution to become harmed reputation-wise in the public discourse.

The conference aims at bringing together researchers and experts from different fields to promote the multiple communicative aspects of CSR. We are looking forward to two days of inspirational presentations, constructive reviews and profound debates – and last but not least having a great time in Lüneburg, one of the most fascinating places in northern Germany. ,

Conference Topics

We invite scholars and researchers, particularly in the field of Corporate Communication, Marketing, Management and Organizational Studies, as well as practitioners, to contribute their empirical and conceptual work on the broad theme of ‘CSR Communication: New Challenges in an Age of Digitalization and Disinformation’ to participate in this unique event.

At the CSRCOM 2022 Conference at Leuphana University of Lüneburg (Germany), we aim to shed light on the challenges of CSR communication that arise in an age of digitization and disinformation. At the same time, and given the conference’s position as one of the main hubs for CSR/sustainability communication scholarship, CSRCOM 2022 invites for submissions from a much broader spectrum of topics and issues (see non-exhaustive list below):

•  CSR/sustainability communication
• CSR communication and its performativity
• CSR and sustainability reporting
• Stakeholder management and dialogue
• Different aspects of 'CSR washing' (incl. greenwashing & -hushing)
• Consumer, marketing and branding aspects of CSR
• CSR in digital contexts (e.g., social media, gamification)
• Relation between internal and external CSR communication
• CSR as corporate micropolitics and internal activism
• Gender, diversity, and CSR communication
• Entrepreneurship and CSR communication
• SME perspectives on CSR communication
• Social movements, cultural change, and CSR communication


Conference Submissions

This Call for Papers encourages scholars to submit either a structured research summary (up to 2,500 words plus references) or a proposal for a special session (see requirements below) for review by April 1, 2022 via the conference website.


Structured research summary: A structured research summary (up to 2,500 words without references) should present in a concise way the purpose of the paper, main theoretical framework/assumptions and if applicable research methods and final or preliminary results. Submitted papers must NOT have been previously presented, scheduled for presentation, published, accepted for publication, and if under review, must NOT appear in print before the conference.

Submitters must delete all identifying information before submitting their summary and provide the author details on a separate page.

Special session (panel or roundtable): 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. Session proposals should include a short description of the session theme and its relevance (200-400 words), list of session participants and short abstracts (200-300 words) of their contributions.

Please note that all submissions for the conference must conform to the format as indicated on the CSRCOM webpage (you are free to use the template here). In case the format of a submitted paper does not correspond with the CSRCOM 2022 format instructions, submitters receive a notification of format insufficiency and may be asked to send a renewed version of their paper that fulfils the conference criteria.

Authors will be notified of acceptance, rejection or suggested modifications as soon as the review processes have been completed (within April, 2022, prospectively). Acceptance of a submission means that the author (or one of the authors) will be expected to present the paper at the conference.

All accepted papers will appear in the conference proceedings, either as a structured research summary or as the submitted abstract. At the conference, the most positively reviewed research summary will be solemnly presented a best paper award.

Please note that all submissions for the conference 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!


Important dates

Your structured research summary or session proposal should be submitted by April 1, 2022 via the conference website.

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

If you are a new user, please register and complete all fields with your contact details. After that, your registration confirmation will be emailed to you. If you ever forget your password, please click on PASSWORD REMINDER. Please use your email and password to LOG IN. By logging in, you can submit your abstract or paper online.

Please mark your calendars and save the following dates:

April 1 2022 Extended deadline for structured research summaries and session proposals 
September 14 -16, 2022 CSRCOM conference

Online submission

Please click here in order to submit your paper!