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Discourse and power in the institutionalisation of corporate social responsibility (CSR): A comparative perspective
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7094-7297
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This article examines how companies use discourse in corporate social responsibility (CSR) self-reporting to construct their engagement in social issues. Discourse is examined through the lens of ‘interpretative repertoires’ used in the reporting, which appear as recurrent habitual sets of explanations that are constitutive of CSR’s meanings. Using an innovative perspective that combines discursive institutionalism with Foucault’s notions of knowledge, power and discourse, the article examines how interpretative repertoires are used in self-reporting and how this has social consequences. The contribution to CSR research is both theoretical and empirical. Beginning with the assumption that context is an important aspect of how discourse is constructed, the empirical material includes company self-reporting from two emerging economy contexts (South Africa and Mauritius) and two advanced welfare states (Sweden and the UK). The analysis reveals the ways in which interpretative repertoires reflect how the versions of CSR are anchored in institutional contexts. How these repertoires are constructed also reveals how companies exercise power by constructing the conditions, and setting the boundaries, for company engagement in social issues.

Keyword [en]
context, corporate social responsibility, discourse analysis, discursive institutionalism, Foucault, interpretative repertoires, power, self-reporting
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-136000OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-136000DiVA: diva2:1050234
Available from: 2016-11-28 Created: 2016-11-28 Last updated: 2016-12-05Bibliographically approved
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Backlund Rambaree, Brita
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