Finding Common Ground: CSR and Media Responsibility

  • Philipp BachmannEmail author
  • Diana Ingenhoff
Part of the Media Business and Innovation book series (MEDIA)


Media companies produce and distribute products intended to inform and entertain the population. This entails a set of specific duties that may be termed Media Responsibility (MR). As a consequence, for a long time media companies remained relatively untroubled by calls for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This has changed due to structural changes in both society and media, with both kinds of responsibility of media companies now being closely examined. Our research question is how do media companies use their MR and CSR strategically? In this paper, we develop a social-theoretical framework that brings together the findings of organizational communications research, CSR research and MR research in a comprehensive manner. We use Giddens’ theories of structuration and late modernity to find common ground. Referring to the concepts of the duality of structure and action as well as the double hermeneutic, we abandon the pervasive illusion of organizational agency and define MR and CSR as ascriptions that take place between human beings. On the basis of our framework, we conclude that it is not media companies themselves, but authorized persons (managers or PR experts) who perform strategic MR and CSR ascriptions in the name of their own organization or its units in order to reproduce or modify social structures in the interest of the organization or its units. The theoretical framework, along with the definitions developed, allows the empirical analysis of media companies’ strategic approach to MR and CSR.


Corporate Social Responsibility Social Practice Media Company Medium Responsibility Authorized Person 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of ZurichZürichSwitzerland
  2. 2.University of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland

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