CSR Infrastructure for Communication and the Nike Controversy

Paul Ziek


Where most literature explains Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) communication through Resource Dependency and Institutional Theories, this study investigates how the emergence and maintenance of an infrastructure for communication influences organizational communicative behavior. The infrastructure for communication is a repertoire of materials that act as a tacit framework for the preferred forms of communicative strategy and instrumentation among a community of organizations. This is a longitudinal study of the controversy surrounding Nike’s supply chain from 1993 to 2004. To draw conclusions about the nature of an infrastructure requires a form of analysis known as infrastructural inversion, which is a reflective practice that involves assessing the communication and interaction of actors to ascertain the relevant patterns that impact behavior. The main finding of the study is that infrastructure shaped how the organizations behaved by acting as a coordinating device for the symbolic and material qualities of inter-organizational communicative strategy and instrumentation.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jms.v3n1p63


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Journal of Management and Sustainability   ISSN 1925-4725 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4733 (Online)   E-mail: jms@ccsenet.org


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