Amid an increasing awareness of the importance of environmental responsibility in the corporate world, environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been identified as a useful tool in business for improving relationships between organizations and their stakeholders. This trend also includes the shipping industry, which has set the environment as a priority on its regulatory agenda. This means that what shipping organizations are communicating to the public in terms of their environmental CSR can affect the public’s attitudes towards these organizations, but how could this environmental CSR communication affect employees’ attitudes towards the shipping organizations? While the environment is a major factor affecting the shipping sector’s external image to the public, limited attention has been paid to the impact of environmental CSR communication on employees across shipping, a B2B industry where employees are key stakeholders. To fill this gap, this study used an online survey to examine the impact of environmental CSR communication on three key employees’ attitudes: organizational identification, organizational commitment, and organizational trust in shipping companies in Greece. Four dimensions of CSR communication were assessed in this study. These were informativeness (whether the company is detailed enough about its CSR communication), transparency (whether the company shares both CSR successes and failures), consistency (whether the company changes its sayings on environmental CSR from time to time), and message tone (whether the company is factual or promotional when sharing its CSR facts). The findings showed that what companies communicate in terms of their environmental CSR towards the public does positively affect employees’ attitudes. More specifically, consistency and message tone were found to affect all three types of employee attitudes. In all cases, employees’ shaped perceptions about the company’s environmental CSR practices mediated the impact of CSR communication on employees’ identification, commitment, and trust. As a result, this study validates the growing relevance of environmental CSR in shipping and highlights the need for shipping companies to shed focus on their environmental CSR communication as a beneficial tool for improving attitudes, not only of external stakeholders but also internal stakeholders. The results also reveal the importance for shipping organizations to maintain a consistent approach and a less promotional tone when planning their environmental CSR communication. Overall, this study provides important insights into the significance of CSR communication for Greek shipping.

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Dr. Yijing Wang
Media & Business
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Sarantia Sarmpezi. (2022, June 27). The impact of environmental CSR communication on employees’ organizational identification, commitment, and trust The case of the Greek shipping sector. Media & Business. Retrieved from