CSR discourse in corporate reports - Exploring the socially constructed nature of corporate social responsibility

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dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor.author Itänen, Miia-Emilia
dc.date.accessioned 2011-12-20T02:30:40Z
dc.date.available 2011-12-20T02:30:40Z
dc.date.issued 2011
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/1178
dc.description.abstract Objective of the Research The objective of this research is to increase understanding on the contemporary Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) discourse from the perspective of multinational corporations (MNCs) operating in the global business environment. The research seeks to contribute to CSR research by analysing the socio-cultural construction of CSR in terms of the social responsibilities of MNCs and their role in the society. This is done by analysing how companies shape and participate in the CSR discourse through their reports and by examining how the corporations construct subject positions for themselves in relation to the society. The aim is thus to understand how companies contribute to the culturally shared understanding of CSR by legitimating and naturalising certain ways of perceiving the corporate social reality. Methodology The empirical materials used for the research consist of CSR reports from 10 Western European MNCs. The methodological approach adopted builds on a cultural, interpretive approach to qualitative analysis. The approach draws from discourse analysis and tools of textual criticism and analysis of the systems, relationships, and structures involved in the construction of meaning. The reports are analysed as cultural texts that are constructed with socio-cultural practices, embedded in a framework of discourse, knowledge and power. The analysis is carried out through close reading of the texts, focusing on how the concept of CSR is constructed and presented in the reports by analysing the discursive strategies and practices employed in the reports. Findings and Conclusions In the texts studied, three dominant streams of discourse were observed: The first one, “business discourse” relates CSR to profitable business and strategic management. The discourse emphasises the business case and business justification for CSR activities, framing CSR as a tool contributing to growth, profitability, and competitiveness of the corporation. The second stream, “caring discourse” constructs companies as humane, “caring” entities embedded in the societies in which they operate. The corporation that emerges from the caring discourse is an active and engaged actor seeking to contribute constructively to the development of the society. The corporations are positioned as drivers and enablers of change in the society. Finally, “sharing discourse” frames CSR as a joint initiative that requires participation of a range of different social actors. This stream draws from themes such as collaboration, working together, and encouraging others to act to advance common goals and to address global challenges. The corporations are portrayed as seeking engagement and encouraging broader, constructive participation in collaborative efforts involving different stakeholders. Sharing discourse embeds the corporation in the society and constructs the corporation as an active participant working towards mutually shared goals and joint interests. en
dc.format.extent 153
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.title CSR discourse in corporate reports - Exploring the socially constructed nature of corporate social responsibility en
dc.type G2 Pro gradu, diplomityö fi
dc.contributor.school Kauppakorkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Economics en
dc.contributor.department Department of Management and International Business en
dc.contributor.department Johtamisen ja kansainvälisen liiketoiminnan laitos fi
dc.subject.keyword International companies
dc.subject.keyword Corporate Social Responsibility
dc.subject.keyword CSR
dc.subject.keyword discourse
dc.subject.keyword Multinational Corporation
dc.subject.keyword MNC
dc.subject.keyword social construction
dc.subject.keyword qualitative analysis
dc.subject.keyword Kansainväliset yritykset
dc.subject.keyword yhteiskuntavastuu
dc.subject.keyword diskurssi
dc.subject.keyword monikansallinen yritys
dc.subject.keyword sosiaalinen rakennelma
dc.subject.keyword laadullinen analyysi
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201112201741
dc.type.dcmitype text en
dc.programme.major International Business en
dc.programme.major Kansainvälinen liiketoiminta fi
dc.type.ontasot Master's thesis en
dc.type.ontasot Pro gradu tutkielma fi
dc.subject.helecon kansainväliset yhtiöt
dc.subject.helecon international companies
dc.subject.helecon yhteiskunta
dc.subject.helecon society
dc.subject.helecon keskustelu
dc.subject.helecon discussion
dc.ethesisid 12664
dc.date.dateaccepted 2011-10-28
dc.location P1 I


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