Are Social Marketing Investments Used as a Tool for Voluntary Reporting or Disclosure?

Are Social Marketing Investments Used as a Tool for Voluntary Reporting or Disclosure?

Tugba Ucma Uysal (Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Turkey), Ganite Kurt (Gazi University, Turkey) and Ali Naci Karabulut (Mugla Sitki Kocman University, Turkey)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch498
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Abstract

The need to respond to a number of issues that are experienced due to increasing population at the global level and volume of production have resulted with the development of new corporate behavioral patterns of enterprises. It is possible to say that the process of change in question constitutes new milestones both in terms of reporting and marketing. The study on hand emphasizes a social marketing and sustainability reporting that includes social sanctions per se which is based on voluntariness and which is being applied by enterprises to express themselves within the scope of daily business practices, and exemplifying cases are being presented regarding the utilization of social marketing investments of organizations in terms of voluntary reporting and disclosure.
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Introduction

The need to respond to conditions that change with the effect of social transformation in line with the globalization phenomenon and developments in information technologies, have resulted with the development of new corporate behavioral patterns of enterprises. It is possible to observe these behavioral patterns both in terms of reporting activities and also in terms of marketing activities. The sustainability and corporate governance concepts that are being applied in businesses in an increasing manner stand for the cumulative efforts for accountability or a convergence. Because, as long as sustainable reporting of businesses are questioned, the meaning and nature of accountability are manifested. This in return is associated with the sense of transparency of businesses (Kolk, 2008) and even stands for the voluntary reporting of non-financial information.

On the other hand, if the situation is assessed in terms of marketing activities, it is possible to observe a similar evaluation to the assessment made in terms of reporting. In other words, the accountability of the business concept is once more in front of our eyes. Because, a number of issues such as air pollution, deterioration of public health, wasting of natural resources, economic stagnancy, inflation, unbalanced income distribution etc. that are experienced due to increasing population at the global level and volume of production result with the questioning of businesses and modern marketing approaches by the people (Clifford, 1998; Drucker, 1974; Doğaner, 2011; Torlak, 2006; Yükselen, 2014). Furthermore, people have become more aware of illegal and unethical behavior in financial and legal presentations (Salimbene & Ferrera, 1996) believing that both stakeholders and non-stakeholders of organizations have the right of information on specific social agenda (Miles & Munilla, 2004).

There are a number of definitions for what sustainability reports stand for of which the importance is being emphasized at many points. But to this date, there is no globally accepted definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR) or sustainability reporting. However, a common European understanding of what CSR means has emerged on the basis of the European Commission definition of CSR as “a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis” (The Council and the European economic and social committee 2006, Dilling, 2010). Or these reports are being expressed as follows in the general sense and their relation with CSR concept is being underlined in the definition.

Sustainability reporting can be considered as synonymous with other terms for non-financial reporting; triple bottom line reporting, CSR reporting, and more. It is also an intrinsic element of integrated reporting; a more recent development that combines the analysis of financial and non-financial performance. (https://www.globalreporting.org)

Key Terms in this Chapter

Voluntary Disclosure: Represents sharing nonfinancial information, including ethical, environmental, and social issues, by an organization with internal and external information users without any legal obligation.

Sustainability Reporting: Represents provision of non-financial information by an organization to internal and external information users in line with the main objectives of development, in addition to an organization’s transparency in terms of its performance and as well as its management approach.

Corporate Social Responsibility: A concept describing the voluntary actions of an organization for fulfilling their responsibilities towards third parties providing resources for the community and the organization.

Non-Financial Reporting: Represents voluntary provision of non-financial information by an organization for the information users constituting its external environment, including mainly its stakeholders, shareholders, investors, and partners, so that acting transparently.

Social Marketing: Is a marketing concept which seeks to influence behaviors not to benefit the company, but to benefit the society in general.

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