Identified as the "most popular and influential scholar" in the network of communication scholars
researching corporate social responsibility.
(2020 bibliometric analysis in Public Relations Review)
Amy O'Connor, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Strategic Communication
Welcome to my website!
Henry David Thoreau wrote in an 1852 letter to his friend: "It is not enough to be industrious; so are the ants. What are you industrious about?" I use this quote as inspiration to uphold the land grant mission of the University of Minnesota in my research and teaching.
In my research, I compare the voices of employees' and community members' experiences and expectations with corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities with CSR claims made in corporate communication. I seek to understand how CSR develops and maintains relationships and how those relationships can be improved.
In the classroom, I blend academic rigor with intellectual curiosity and creative problem solving to make academic concepts come to life and generate enthusiasm for learning, research, and community engagement.
Ph.D., Purdue University
Public Affairs Issue Management/Organizational Communication
M.A., Western Michigan University
Organizational Communication/Public Relations
B.A., Washington State University
DDB Worldwide Advertising
Media Buyer & Planner
National Kidney Foundation of Michigan
Director of Communication & Special Events
American Cancer Society
Fundraising and Public Relations Consultant
My research focuses on corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication and practices. I am interested in the experiences stakeholders' have with corporations in their communities and what stakeholders expect from corporations in society. My research has explored the experiences of locked-out union workers, how location impacts stakeholders' perceptions of CSR, and the institutionalization of CSR in specific industries.
My current project is a multi-year ethnography of the CSR practices of northern Minnesota mining companies. This project exposes the paradoxes of CSR in an extraction industry and uncovers the micro-processes of corporate-community relationship building.
The Hibbing Taconite mine, the largest open pit mine in the world, from the Hull Rust Mahoning Mine View. Hibbing, Minnesota.
As a teacher, I believe the classroom experience should be a collaborative, dynamic learning community where ideas and concepts are respectfully explored and all students are heard and treated with dignity. I encourage students to be energized by the diversity of opinions around them, take intellectual risks, and hone their critical thinking skills.
In addition to my classroom teaching, I also serve as a faculty mentor for CLA's Dean's First-Year Research and Creative Scholar (DFRACS) program and supervise Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) students. As a mentor, I have introduced numerous students to the research process through active reading and discussion of corporate social responsibility (CSR) literature, paired with engaging research tasks.