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Exploring the Role of CSR in the Organizational Identity of Hospitality Companies: A Case from the Spanish Tourism Industry


  • Patricia Martínez


  • Andrea Pérez


  • Ignacio Rodríguez del Bosque



Recently, organizational identity is being given more attention than ever before in the business world. This notion has grown substantially in importance in the hospitality industry. Facing increased competition, hospitality companies are driven to project a positive image to their stakeholders. Therefore, these organizations have begun to develop new organizational identity programs as part of their strategies to achieve their desired identities. This study analyzes the role of corporate social responsibility in the definition of the Organizational Identity of these organizations, employing a qualitative research methodology based on an illustrative case study. Particularly, the authors analyze the case of Meliá Hotels International, a leading hotel company in Spain with a presence in 27 countries. The findings indicate that the company has formally integrated CSR into its strategy to align its actual identity with its desired and conceived identity in view of the critics in its local community. Moreover, the interest of the firm toward its stakeholders suggests that the company understands its conceived identity as an important link in understanding its organizational identity. This paper demonstrates that firm’s organizational identity is a set of several elements. When analyzing Meliá Hotels International’s identity, we see that the firm defines this concept as that which is most central, enduring, and distinctive about the organization. In this sense, the company appears to follow the vision-driven approach by referring to the organizational mission and vision statements, organizational philosophy, and core values as the basis of organizational identity. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Suggested Citation

  • Patricia Martínez & Andrea Pérez & Ignacio Rodríguez del Bosque, 2014. "Exploring the Role of CSR in the Organizational Identity of Hospitality Companies: A Case from the Spanish Tourism Industry," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 47-66, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:124:y:2014:i:1:p:47-66
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-013-1857-1

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. M. Atakan & Tutku Eker, 2007. "Corporate Identity of a Socially Responsible University – A Case from the Turkish Higher Education Sector," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(1), pages 55-68, November.
    2. Margulies, Walter P., 1970. "Custom control of corporate identity : Realistic system required," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 31-36, February.
    3. John Balmer & Kyoko Fukukawa & Edmund Gray, 2007. "The Nature and Management of Ethical Corporate Identity: A Commentary on Corporate Identity, Corporate Social Responsibility and Ethics," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(1), pages 7-15, November.
    4. Andrea Pérez & Ignacio Rodríguez del Bosque, 2012. "The Role of CSR in the Corporate Identity of Banking Service Providers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 108(2), pages 145-166, June.
    5. Michael Bendixen & Russell Abratt, 2007. "Corporate Identity, Ethics and Reputation in Supplier–Buyer Relationships," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(1), pages 69-82, November.
    6. Nelarine Cornelius & James Wallace & Rana Tassabehji, 2007. "An Analysis of Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Identity and Ethics Teaching in Business Schools," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(1), pages 117-135, November.
    7. John Balmer & Shaun Powell & Stephen Greyser, 2011. "Explicating Ethical Corporate Marketing. Insights from the BP Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe: The Ethical Brand that Exploded and then Imploded," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(1), pages 1-14, August.
    8. Truscott, Rachael A. & Bartlett, Jennifer L. & Tywoniak, Stephane A., 2009. "The reputation of the corporate social responsibility industry in Australia," Australasian marketing journal, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 84-91.
    9. Alex Rialp & Josep Rialp & David Urbano & Yancy Vaillant, 2005. "The Born-Global Phenomenon: A Comparative Case Study Research," Journal of International Entrepreneurship, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 133-171, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Miguel Ángel Moliner & Diego Monferrer & Marta Estrada & Rosa M. Rodríguez, 2019. "Environmental Sustainability and the Hospitality Customer Experience: A Study in Tourist Accommodation," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(19), pages 1-15, September.
    2. Hervani, Aref Agahei & Sarkis, Joseph & Helms, Marilyn M., 2017. "Environmental goods valuations for social sustainability: A conceptual framework," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 125(C), pages 137-153.
    3. Jian Ming Luo & Chi Fung Lam & Ka Yin Chau & Hua Wen Shen & Xin Wang, 2017. "Measuring Corporate Social Responsibility in Gambling Industry: Multi-Items Stakeholder Based Scales," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(11), pages 1-18, November.


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