Marianne D. Sison, PhD, FPRIA

Senior Lecturer, School of Media and Communication, RMIT University Melbourne

Inclusion and Meaningful Participation: Community Voices from Southeast Asia

Corporations often espouse ‘shared values’ such as inclusion, diversity, community engagement and sustainability; however, very little is known about these community stakeholders who often provide them the ‘social’ license to operate. More so, we know very little of how communities are included, how local values and culture are considered and how their participation, or lack thereof, impacts on organizational decisions.

To address this gap, Sison explored how communities perceive, negotiate and participate in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. In this presentation, she will share her preliminary findings in the context of power, persuasion and meaningful participation, and conclude with the study’s implications for global communication practitioners.


Marianne D. Sison is a senior lecturer and until recently, Deputy Dean (International) for the School of Media and Communication at RMIT University in Melbourne. She received her PhD from RMIT University, MA from the University of Florida and BA from the University of the Philippines. A Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, she previously worked in corporate, consultancy and community public relations in Manila, Los Angeles and Melbourne.

Her research interests include global and cross-cultural public relations, cultural values, corporate social responsibility, public relations education and international communication. Her recent publications cover topics on inclusion and diversity, gender discourses and strategic environmental communication campaigns. She is currently working on a book project on “Corporate Social Responsibility, Public Relations and Community Development: Emerging Perspectives from South East Asia” for Routledge (2017).

Twitter: @MDSison

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