Competence Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility (STaR)

Intercultural Aspects of CSR Communication


Interkulturelle Aspekte in der CSR-Kommunikation / Aspectos interculturales en la comunicación de RSC. Reflections on a recent event. . .

A two-day interdisciplinary conference on CSR and communication? ... in three languages? About a year ago, when our co-hosts - Johannes (Hannes) Schnitzer and Pilar Pérez at the WU Vienna Department of Foreign Language Business Communication and the Research Group on CSR Communication (CORESCO) – invited our team at STaR to co-organize this event, no one among us had a clear idea what direction it would end up taking. Of course, there is a lot of talk in academia about the need to step out of our disciplinary silos and to build new bridges for knowledge exchange. Yet we all know that this is easier said than done. We speak different (disciplinary) languages. We use different methods. We publish in different (and differently ranked) journals. And as for those bridges – often, there is simply not enough time for laying their foundations.

Obviously, there exist many successful interdisciplinary teams of collaborators, born out of personal networks, or coincidental or intentional connections, but focused academic events organized around a clear objective to create space for new types of exchange, are arguably, still not that common of a sight.* Thus, not surprisingly, as organizers, we were simultaneously thrilled and concerned when putting together a program with speakers from the fields of linguistics, communication, management, HRM, international business, and more. Add to that our shared passion for languages (we wanted the presentations to be held in English, German, and Spanish) and the much bigger tribulation of COVID-19 outbreak in the midst of the planning.

Now, that I am writing this reflection a day after the conference has finished, I already know that the event went smoothly. The online aspect did not stop speakers/participants from Australia and Latin America from joining us, the majority on the CET time zone. The sessions in different languages were attended by the average of around 25-30 participants (from the total of nearly 80 total registrations). Most importantly – at least to me personally, “honey to my ears” – many presentations and Q/As ended with comments like “let’s meet up virtually again to discuss this in more detail” or “let me forward you the references on this from our field for review.” The first bricks of a new bridge..?

A big thank you to Hannes and Pilar for making the event happen. And one more Danke/thank you/gracias to all online participants!

The complete program/ Programm / programa is available here.

Presentations by STaR Faculty Members and Intellectual Community affiliates:

  • Iris Maurer & Michael Müller Camen, “Arbeitsbeziehungen: eine vergleichende Analyse der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung großer chinesischer, deutscher, indischer, japanischer und US-amerikanischer Unternehmen“

  • Susan Üstün, “Pasos hacia la igualdad de género en el entorno laboral: Usos del lenguaje inclusivo en empresas españolas y chilenas en el sector de energía”

  • Christof Miska, (keynote) “Culture, institutions, and sustainable development”

  • Pilar Pérez, “‘Sostenibilidad’ frente a ‘Responsabilidad Social Corporativa’: estudio comparativo de páginas web españolas e hispanoamericanas”

  • Mirja Kemppi-Pfleger, “Climate change discourse of the European automotive industry”

[*This text was written by Milda Zilinskaite, senior scientist and manager at STaR. The ideas expressed in it are my personal opinions and may not accurately represent those of other persons involved in the described conference]

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