Date of Conferral

11-27-2011

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Godwin Igein

Abstract

Self-presentation of a corporation as a citizen committed to sustainable corporate responsibility can, according to scholarly findings, help the organization improve its reputation among key stakeholders. The purpose of this case study was to explore the success of one major airport in aligning communication strategies to improve its reputation. The research question involved how effectively a major German airport communicated its commitment to sustainable corporate responsibility to its key stakeholders during 2005--2009. Of particular interest was how key stakeholders perceived the airport's stance towards the impacts of aircraft noise. Corporate documents, newspaper articles, and semistructured interviews comprised the data. Data analyses of documents and interviews included coding segments of texts on key words related to sustainable corporate responsibility. Pattern matching helped aggregate coded text segments into respective coherent and consistent corporate messages. Randomly selected newspaper articles on the airport under scrutiny were coded on a Likert-type scale on how favorably they covered what types of themes. Subsequent qualitative analyses of hand notes fabricated during the coding process revealed how positively journalists wrote about specific events. Results indicated that the airport officials effectively communicated to the airport's key stakeholders regarding economic contributions to public welfare, engagements in neighborhood projects, environmental protection, and noise abatement. Implications for positive social change include the potential for dialogues between the airport and its critical stakeholders that could, in turn, further the long-term friendly coexistence of the airport, its neighbors, and the community.