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Meeting planners : the differing views of 'Corporate Social Responsibility' practices and motivations across two continents

Sibley, Jonathan ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5560-7158, Musgrave, James and Woodwood, Simon (2021) Meeting planners : the differing views of 'Corporate Social Responsibility' practices and motivations across two continents. Events Management, 25 (6). pp. 601-618. ISSN 1525-9951

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Abstract

Interpretation of, and commitment to, corporate social responsibility (CSR) differs from country to country, resulting in variances in implementation. It is theorized that these variances originate from organizational and cultural context. There is limited research dedicated to contextual variances of CSR in the meetings industry. As such, the objective of this article is twofold: first, to understand whether meeting planners in America and Western Europe differ in their current and future motives for engaging with CSR. Second, to establish whether the differences in motivation are influenced by their conceptual understanding of CSR or the wider socioeconomic and political environment. The authors analyzed over 1,000 self-reporting questionnaires from meeting planners across the two continents. Results were analyzed using unrelated t tests in order to establish if the two groups differ in their underlying motives to engage with CSR. An exploratory factor analysis was used to determine how meeting planners conceptualized CSR across the two continents. Results suggests similar strategic motives to engage in CSR. European meeting planners identify egoistic motives to engage in CSR. In contrast to America, CSR practice in Europe will change in the future as value-driven motives become prevalent. The article provides evidence of context as a defining factor in CSR, where ubiquitous constructs of CSR cannot be easily applied to meeting planners. The findings demonstrate the incongruent nature of CSR practice. The results advance the application of CSR to meeting planner's practice in both America and Western Europe, reigniting the definitional debate of CSR within the meetings industry.

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