The Institutionalization of social responsibility : an exploratory study on the communicative character of social responsibility in selected Philippine higher education institutions

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts major in Communication (Thesis Option)



First Advisor

Supangco, Jose Angelo, Ph.D.


In recent years, the discourse on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has extended andgained roots in the context of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), which are purported to also havethe responsibility of contributing towards preserving the wellbeing of society and championing the concept of social responsibility to future generations. However, as definitions of CSR remainequivocal, there emerges a challenge for leaders in HEIs to translate and align external expectations of social responsibility with their organizational context through the development of social responsibility programs and activities. At the same time, they must be able to effectively communicate messages relating to these initiatives to internal stakeholders such as students, faculty, and non- teaching staff,in order to generate positive involvement in their program.This thesis explores the concept and character of Higher Education Institution SocialResponsibility (HEI SR) through the communicative processes of sensemaking and framing. Data was collected through (1) in-depth interviews with SR department managers in HEIs with establishedprograms, and (2) relevant publicly available documentation, such as vision-mission statements, core value declarations, publications, and reports. Based on the application of thematic analysis, the researcher found that the character of HEI SR is grounded in its enhancement of overall organizational identity and objectives. Further, effective HEI SR communication respects the importance of involving internal stakeholders in the creation and perpetuation of HEI SR meaning through framing messages on three important anchors partnerships, expertise, and aspirations aswell as extending ownership of HEI SR projects and activities in order to facilitate their own experience of sensemaking and framing.


The C6.F455 2018