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Title: Shipping industry's sustainability communications to public in social media: a longitudinal analysis
Authors: Wang, Xueqin
Wong, Yiik Diew
Li, Kevin X.
Yuen, Kum Fai
Keywords: Engineering::Civil engineering
Issue Date: 2021
Source: Wang, X., Wong, Y. D., Li, K. X. & Yuen, K. F. (2021). Shipping industry's sustainability communications to public in social media: a longitudinal analysis. Transport Policy, 110, 123-134.
Project: RS03/19
Journal: Transport Policy
Abstract: Except for the catastrophic accidents that have made headlines, public's knowledge about the shipping industry remains limited. As a result, the public may form an unjust stereotype of the industry as ‘polluting’ and ‘unsustainable’, which reduces the industry's attractiveness to its potential employees and indirect customers (i.e. end-consumers). It is high time for the industry to shape its public image by not only acting sustainably but also communicating the same to the public. Thus, this study examines the shipping industry's sustainability communications in social media focusing on the Twitter interactions between the top container liners and the public. Adopting the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a normative framework, this study analyses the strategic fit of the sustainability communications by top shipping companies internally (i.e. consistency with core business) and externally (i.e. consistency with public expectation). A combined method of qualitative content analysis and quantitative statistic test is employed. Our findings suggest a trend of diversification in shipping companies' sustainability communications which gradually extend from SDGs related to the industry's core responsibilities to peripheral responsibilities. Contrarily, a trend of convergence in the public's response is observed where the public's attention is increasingly diverted from SDGs pertaining to the industry's peripheral responsibilities to the core ones. Based on the opposite trends, theoretical and managerial implications for maritime scholars and industry players are discussed; Sustainable communication strategies for the shipping industry are highlighted.
ISSN: 0967-070X
DOI: 10.1016/j.tranpol.2021.05.031
Rights: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
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