This study explores the relevance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an element of the corporate identity of Spanish financial institutions. Specifically, it aims to analyze the CSR actions developed by financial entities through the analysis of all the available information disclosed in their websites. A content analysis applied to 82 banking institutions, followed by different quantitative analyses, reveals the multidimensionality of CSR. Findings show that, while the number of entities institutionalizing CSR values as core elements of their identities is still reduced, most organizations disclose CSR information to construct communicated identities and legitimate behaviours. Besides, these dimensions are classified depending on the stakeholder the action is aimed to, and that entities favour the generation of distinctive identities through the implementation and communication of more visible CSR actions like those involving their customers or the community. In any case, results indicate that organizations with certain characteristics are more likely to construct distinctive identities through CSR activities and to establish ethical and social values within their corporate statements and cultures.
- Content analysis
- Corporate identity
- Corporate social responsibility
- Corporate website
- Financial services industry