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'Publics' or 'stakeholders'? Performing social responsibility through stakeholder software
journal contributionposted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by Kristin DemetriousKristin Demetrious, Patrick Hughes
Government and corporate organizations increasingly seek the support of the communities where they operate and represent themselves as good corporate citizens with a sense of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). These organizations seek to create and sustain dialogue with their many and varied ‘stakeholders’ and reject traditional ‘PR’ approaches that regard communication as a way to manipulate ‘target publics’. Some of these organizations use a form of ‘stakeholder software’ to guide and support their efforts to embrace CSR in their operations and this article examines two such software packages. It sets their use and the broader drive for CSR in the context of a diminishing trust in traditional institutions and a rise in new, extra-parliamentary forms of activism (new activism); and it examines stakeholder software’s potential contribution to a values-based approach to PR training in universities and colleges.