We would like to invite you to attend the Final Thesis Seminar of Krisztina Morris, a Doctor of Philosophy candidate in the School of Business and Creative Industries.
Thesis Title: Corporate Sustainability and Social Responsibility (CSSR): A Critical View of Multinational Corporations’ Communication and Public Relations Practices in a Postcolonial Setting
The impact of imperialism upon world societies has drawn trans-disciplinary interest in the form of heated debates over the notion of postcolonialism. In this regard, focus has remained on the political, economic, environmental and digital influence of Multinational Corporations (MNCs) in the developing world, and concerns have emerged over the trans-nationalisation of corporate capitalism. The management model of MNCs in host nations is largely perceived to be enhanced by strategic corporate communication goals that appear to coincide with dominant Western models of economic development, often referred to as corporate imperialism. In this sense, corporate sustainability and social responsibility (CSSR) has gained high profile in the business world with communication and public relations expertise often sort to manage key stakeholders and build ‘glocal’ corporate reputation.
The project sets out to empirically interrogate the notion of CSSR and critically examine the role of strategic communication and public relations in CSSR projects across two oil Multinational Corporations in two postcolonial settings i.e., Nigeria, Africa and Venezuela, South America. The project takes on a critical, interdisciplinary approach engaging with globalisation, postcolonial theory and developmental perspectives and sets out to deconstruct a purposive sample of CSSR projects from two cultural sites. Among the questions posed are: what is the purpose and nature of MNC’s CSSR projects in the developing world? How are they designed? Who designs them and for whom? What are the narratives (and counter narratives)? What policies and ideologies underpin these narratives? And do similar patterns prevail across different cultural sites in the developing world?
The aim of this study is to provide the field of public relations and the oil and mining industry with new knowledge to facilitate greater practices in CSSR communication. The methodological triangulation approach of quantitative content analysis, qualitative critical discourse analysis and qualitative interviews discovered that the effects of globalisation are still perpetuating imbalanced relations between the developed and developing nations. The case studies and further textual analysis revealed that while MNCs are consciously improving their social responsibilities and creating new initiatives, the lack of strategic communication amongst stakeholders, particularly the host communities, often result in poor execution. Finally, an improved public relations approach is introduced to facilitate better strategic outcomes for stakeholder communication within the oil industry.
Krisztina Morris is a Lecturer and Tutor in Public Relations here at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Krisztina completed a Bachelor of Arts with Honours, Class I. at USC in 2015 and her research focus is on sustainability and strategic communication. In order to deepen her knowledge and understanding, Krisztina commenced her PhD with the now titled School of Business and Creative Industries in 2016 and is working under the guidance of Dr Karen Sutherland and Dr Sarah Casey.
We look forward to seeing you there!