Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility. Analysis of a scientific article on international hotel chains

Seminar Paper 2013 15 Pages

Tourism - Hotel Management


Table of contents

Table of contents


List of figures

1. Introduction and Status Quo of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

2. The articles position on Corporate Social Responsibility

3. Methodology

4. Outcome and results of the research

5. Practical relevance and conclusion


List of literature


Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

List of figures

Figure 1: Overview research process

Figure 2: Relevance of CSR to SMEs

1. Introduction and Status Quo of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

The following assignment is written as a part of the course „Aktuelle Forschungsfra- gen des Hospitality Management“ thought by Professor Bausch at the University of Applied Sciences Munich.

The article with the headline “International hotel chains and environmental protec- tion: an analysis of Hilton’s yes we care! Programme (Europe, 2006-2008)”1 has its main focus on the topic of corporate social responsibility (CSR) executed by interna- tional hotel chains. The article analyses and evaluates the Hilton’s we care! pro- gramme that was rolled out in 70 Hilton Worldwide hotels. It outlines the close con- nection between CSR and term corporate environmentalism. A further connection is made between the linkage of CSR and Human Recourses Management (HRM). The relevance of the topic CSR and environmentalism is illustrated in the article by the following citations:2

- “It is almost unthinkable today for a large international company to be with- out a CSR policy”
- “Environmental protection – with climate change to the fore – is one of the most important challenges currently facing mankind”
- “The rise of corporate social responsibility (CSR) – which implies, among other things, that businesses should green their operations, thereby minimising their environmental impact – confirms the above assumption”

As a definition of CSR the article states that the idea behind CSR is to “create a posi- tive impact on society and the environment trough interactions with main stake- holders such as employees, customers, investors and suppliers”.3 Further the article states that businesses are “expected to behave ethically and ecologically”.4

The topic of CSR is still a widely discussed topic in current research literature. CSR focuses on the “corporate self-regulation mainly associated with ethical issues, hu- man rights, health and safety, environmental protection, social and environmental reporting and voluntary initiatives involving support for community projects and philanthropy.”5 In todays public conscious market developments CSR is an up-to- date theme. “More than ever, companies are devoting substantial resources”6 to- wards their CSR initiatives. Most articles’ aim is it to demonstrate the correlation between CSR and economic success of the enterprise.7 On the one hand researcher publish “evidence documenting and explaining that CSR has a positive economic impact on a firm’s financial performance.”8 On the other hand even after decades of research the relationship between corporate social responsibility and corporate fi- nancial performance remains controversial because its difficulty to capture the sin- gle effect of CSR.9

Other research efforts examine the way of how companies communicate CSR with their stakeholders. Here it can be said that in the late 90’ the terminology used in communicating CSR related topics in the U.S was “civic involvement, environment, education, and charity”.10 Nowadays common headings include “sustainability, eth- ics, diversity, and health/wellness.”11 How to communicate CSR effectively is one of today’s challenges as there is a low recognition of CSR initiatives by stakeholders and public scepticism towards CSR activities.12 As recently discussed during the World Economic Forum (WEF) and published in the paper “CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: NOT WHETHER, BUT HOW?”13 the uncertainty as well as the com- panies societal responsibilities are increasing. The key pressures of “corporate com- petitiveness, corporate governance and corporate citizenship”14 will be the domi- nant future plans. Establishing a linkage between those forces will be the future challenge of business leaders.15

A research paper executed by two Germans illustrates the growing importance of CSR as a major marketing theme in companies. The longitudinal study during the year’s 2002 – 2007 analyses the CSR-communication in the three the weekly Ger- man magazines Der Spiegel, Focus and WirtschaftsWoche. The findings of this study shows that communication within the topic of CSR in printed media has increased signi cantly by +390%.16

Another article analyses the “bottom line” in relationship to CSR. The bottom line shows if a company is financially sound. Calculating the sum of revenue minus ex- penses completes this scheme. The focus within this scheme is purely an economic. However the majority of companies are facing increasing complexity as well as a value change within the consumers and costumer base. To meet these demands and achieve long-term success companies must consider extending this singe bottom line by adding two more “bottom lines”. This results in the triple bottom line know as the Economic, Environmental and Social aspects, often paraphrased as "Profit, People, Planet".17 “Corporate Social Responsibility as a strategic practice is key to or- ganizational success because it is one of the few practices that can positively impact all three elements of the Triple Bottom Line, contributing to a healthy bottom line and long-term sustainability.“18

A research study about CSR at small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) produced on behalf of the EU Commission states that for the majority of the SMEs (67%) state the subject of CSR will become increasingly important to their companies in the next few years, see also appendix A.19

2. The articles view on Corporate Social Responsibility

The first section of the paper highlights the array of CSR definitions and perspectives on the topic. The article focuses its view on environmental protection within the business environment. Businesses need to reduce the environmental impact and green theirs operations. Hence the paper urges for a “Co-ordinated – action at gov- ernmental, corporate and individual levels”.20 Furthermore the article stresses the correlation between an unspoiled environment and the attractiveness of tourist des- tinations, service quality and respectively the “long-term environmental sustainabil- ity of tourist destinations.”21 In addition, the article discusses CSR and its cohesion to HRM and environmental management. All three topics are outlined with a focus on the hospitality industry. The definitions and views on CSR by the authors Bohdanowicz et. al are given in chapter 2. As a part of the conceptual framework it is shown that international hotel chains have been implementing CSR programs and policies as one of the first industries.

Showing the specific working conditions in the hospitality industry the authors Bohdanowicz et. al describe the “hours worked in this sector are usually not only long but also unsocial.”22 The payment as well as the work life balance is low and consequently employees frequently leave the industry. As a result falling staff reten- tion exist and there is a skilled worker shortage. To counteract CSR can hinder those negative effects. “Ecologically responsible companies can boost employees’ motiva- tion, job satisfaction and, by extension organisational commitment.”23 To imple- ment any sort of environmental ideas processes with regard to change the commit- ment of all employees is needed. This implies “actions trough HRM (to engage, motivate and train staff).”24 A holistic approach is necessary to manage and combine these three interrelated topic of CSR, HRM and environmental management.

3. Methodology

The paper employs the case study method introduced by Eisenhardt. To analyse the content the researchers choose the content analysis technique.25 Therefore the “company’s website as well as various magazines were reviewed”26, as well as inter- nal documents such as Hilton specific case studies. Hilton Managers in charge of the program rollout where contacted via email and personally interviewed.27 In Novem- ber 2008 a two language in-house online survey containing of “18 Likert-scale ques- tions and four open-ended questions in form of a “Personal comments” text box” 28 was carried out in 20 Hilton hotels in 11 countries located across Continental Eu- rope. Figure 1 illustrates the research process implemented by Bohdanowicz et al.:

Case study method (Eisenhardt 1989)

Figure 1: Overview research process

Source: Own diagram

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten


1 Bohdanowicz, Zientrara, Novotna (2011) p. 797

2 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 797 - 798

3 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 798

4 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 799

5 Okpara, Idawo(2013) p. 3

6 Du, (2013) p. 8

7 cf. Tang et. al (2012) p. 1274

8 Okpara, Idawo(2013) p. 13

9 cf. Tang et. al (2012) p. 1274

10 Tang et. al (2012) p. 1274

11 Smith, Alexander (2013) p. 155

12 cf. Du, (2013) p. 17

13 Smith (2003) p. 3

14 Smith (2003) p. 3

15 cf. Smith (2003) p. 3

16 cf. Mögele, Tropp (2010) p. 163

17 cf. http://schemaadvisory.com/the-importance-of-csr/ [23.12.2013]

18 http://schemaadvisory.com/the-importance-of-csr/ [23.12.2013]

19 cf. Gilde GmbH (2007) p. 13

20 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 797

21 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 798

22 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 799

23 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 800

24 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 803

25 cf. Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) pp. 803

26 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 804

27 cf. Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) pp. 804

28 Bohdanowicz et. al (2011) p. 804


ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
Catalog Number
Institution / College
Munich University of Applied Sciences – Tourism
International hotel chains Hilto Environment Hilton’s we care!



Title: Importance of Corporate Social Responsibility. Analysis of a scientific article on international hotel chains