Challenging Corporate Social Responsibility: Lessons for public relations from the casino industry, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Challenging Corporate Social Responsibility

Lessons for public relations from the casino industry, 1st Edition

By Jessalynn R. Strauss


162 pages

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Paperback: 9780367868543
pub: 2019-12-12
Hardback: 9780415706377
pub: 2015-05-08
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pub: 2015-05-01
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The concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly widespread, as businesses seek to incorporate socially responsible behaviors while still being accountable to shareholders. Indeed some research has suggested that CSR in itself can form the basis of good PR by promoting consumers’ purchase decisions.

Arguing that this approach is a dangerous oversimplification, this book takes a deeper look at the concept of CSR in a particularly challenging context - casino gaming. Originally the province of seedy, backdoor establishments in isolated cities, casino gaming has become a multibillion-dollar global industry. Drawing on in-depth research in Las Vegas, this unique study examines how and why corporations in the casino industry interpret and engage in CSR through community support, environmental issues, labor rights, and corporate governance.

Through in-depth analysis of CSR in this industry, this book adds a new dimension to the debate on the role of CSR and public relations in business. Given the burgeoning relationship between CSR and corporate PR, the book seeks to illuminate CSR’s complexities, contradictions, and moral obligations. It will be of interest to all scholars of public relations, corporate communications, and corporate reputation.


'This fantastic book provides a thoughtful, accessible and thorough treatment of corporate social responsibility as a public relations strategy that offers both opportunities and challenges. Using the casino industry as a case study, Jessalynn Strauss gives us an intriguing glimpse into the past, current and future state of the relationship between business and society.' - Steve May, Associate Professor, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA

'This book is a thoughtful and comprehensive examination of Corporate Social Responsibility, an area of study with enormous implications for the practice of modern public relations. In this eminently readable study, Dr. Strauss seamlessly weaves theoretical insights with a fascinating discussion of the growing worldwide gaming industry.' - Kathleen Stansberry, Assistant Professor, Cleveland State University, USA

‘This well-written, well-researched book begins with an irresistible hook: Bugsy Siegel and other gangsters may be the founders of casino CSR. As Strauss traces CSR through casinos in Las Vegas, Australia, Macau, and Canada, we gain detailed insights into broad, cutting-edge concerns, including the paradoxical social downsides of CSR.’ - Charles Marsh, Professor, University of Kansas, USA

'Jessalynn Strauss' case studies demonstrate how adeptly vice industries have adapted to ethical demands and societal trends to establish community and goodwill within their environments. This is a worthwhile book that will challenge and upend assumptions as well as shine a light on the history and legacy of an industry many have ignored.' - Natalie T. J. Tindall, Associate Professor, Georgia State University, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. CSR: Walking the walk, talking the talk 3. The Casino Industry Grows Up 4. Understanding the Global Casino Industry 5. Casino City in the Desert: History and context of Las Vegas, Nev. 6. CSR in Las Vegas 7. Trouble Points: Implications of strategic CSR 8. Conclusions and Future Directions

About the Author

Dr. Jessalynn R. Strauss is Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication at Elon University, USA. She has several years of experience in public relations and marketing communication and her research interests include public relations, corporate social responsibility, nonprofit organizations, and the history and culture of Las Vegas.

About the Series

Routledge New Directions in PR & Communication Research

Current academic thinking about public relations (PR) and related communication is a lively, expanding marketplace of ideas and many scholars believe that it’s time for its radical approach to be deepened. Routledge New Directions in PR & Communication Research is the forum of choice for this new thinking. Its key strength is its remit, publishing critical and challenging responses to continuities and fractures in contemporary PR thinking and practice, tracking its spread into new geographies and political economies. It questions its contested role in market-orientated, capitalist, liberal democracies around the world, and examines its invasion of all media spaces, old, new, and as yet unenvisaged.

The New Directions series has already published and commissioned diverse original work on topics such as:

  • PR’s influence on Israeli and Palestinian nation-building
  • PR's origins in the history of ideas
  • a Jungian approach to PR ethics and professionalism
  • global perspectives on PR professional practice;
  • PR as an everyday language for everyone
  • PR as emotional labour
  • PR as communication in conflicted societies, and
  • PR's relationships to cooperation, justice and paradox.

We actively invite new contributions and offer academics a welcoming place for the publication of their analyses of a universal, persuasive mindset that lives comfortably in old and new media around the world.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Public Relations
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies