Corporate social responsibility reporting among European low-fares airlines: challenges for the examination and development of sustainable mobilities
Journal of Sustainable Tourism
Taylor and Francis
This paper examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices among the growing Low-Fares Airlines (LFAs) flying between mainland Europe and the UK. A mixed methods approach was employed combining a content analysis of 22 airlines’ documentation with key-informant interviews with 11 airlines including three of the four market leading LFAs. The research discovered evidence that LFAs were aware of the need to act more responsibly but how far intentions resulted in action was difficult to establish. To date the examination of LFAs has relied heavily on secondary sources and perspectives external to the firm. The firms’ own CSR-related texts do not represent a reliable basis for examining responsibility among LFAs; they have a high degree of fragmentation and variable quality. In-depth interviews showed that while there is more CSR activity than is made public, incomplete knowledge was a more significant problem than bias or spin. Very few LFAs had conducted a systemic audit of CSR-related activity. Integrative approaches are required to overcome the limitations of single methods, to contribute towards a fuller understanding of responsibility among LFAs, and to inform debate on whether it is necessary to regulate in order to encourage sustainable development in this high growth sector.
Economic and Social Research Council
"This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Sustainable Tourism on 3 March 2013, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/ 10.1080/09669582.2013.790391”
Vol. 22, No. 1, 69–88,
Place of publication