Communicative decision-making in the relationship between corporate donors and NGO recipients




Communicative decision-making, Stakeholder relationships, Corporate social responsibility, Strategic communication, Reputation, Sustainability


As the competition for corporate funds donated to NGOs increases, the need to know corporates’ communicative decision-making processes, leading to who they fund and why, as well as how their decisions are communicated to recipients, increases. The main aim of this study was to investigate the communicative decision-making process that takes place in the relationship between corporate donors and non-governmental organisation (NGO) recipients in South Africa. The study used the qualitative strategy of enquiry and identified eight corporate social responsibility managers and eight corporate organisations as participants. Data were analysed by means of both non-automated and automated thematic analysis, for which the software programme Leximancer was used. Concept maps indicated that “reputation”, “legal considerations”, “relationship” and “stewardship” influence a corporate’s decision-makingregarding which NGOs to fund. Results also indicate that corporate organisations fund according to a donor strategy, which determines the criteria for funding. The decision-making process is furthermore followed through decision-making structures established specifically for this purpose. Evidence was also found that regular two-way communication with recipients forms an integral part of decision-making processes.


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