Storytelling and Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: A Case Study of Leading UK Retailers

Peter Jones 1 * , Daphne Comfort 1

European Journal of Sustainable Development Research, Volume 2, Issue 4, Article No: 46.

https://doi.org/10.20897/ejosdr/3916

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Abstract

Stories, in one form or another, are probably as old as the human race, but in recent years, businesses have increasingly come to recognise the importance of storytelling. The aim of this paper is to offer an exploratory commentary on how storytelling is employed in the corporate social responsibility reporting process by the leading UK retailers. The paper begins with an outline of the characteristics of storytelling within the corporate world, and then reviews the ways storytelling is employed by the UK’s top ten retailers’ as part of their corporate social responsibility reporting processes. The paper identifies a number of storytelling formats, including photographs and images, video clips, messages and cameo case studies, used by the selected UK retailers, and offers some reflections on their current approaches to storytelling. While the stories employed by the selected retailers often have a strong human impact and can strike emotive chords, the authors would argue that stories can, at least partly, be misleading in that they do not necessarily fully reflect a retailer’s corporate social responsibility record.

Keywords

stories, storytelling, corporate social responsibility, UK retailers

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Citation

Jones, P., and Comfort, D. (2018). Storytelling and Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: A Case Study of Leading UK Retailers. European Journal of Sustainable Development Research, 2(4), 46. https://doi.org/10.20897/ejosdr/3916

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