A genre perspective into communicating about environmental issues on corporate web sites in the oil and gas industry

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
International Business Communication
International Business Communication
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Objective of the study The overall objective of this thesis is to find out if it is possible to establish the existence of a (sub) genre within the wider genre of a corporate web site. Efforts are made to explore the (sub) genre of “Communicating environmental issues" on the web sites of oil and gas companies. In order to accomplish the objective, the following research question is put forward: “Is it possible to establish the existence of a (sub) genre for communicating environmental issues on the corporate web sites of companies operating in the oil and gas industry?” Methodology The main research question was examined through a detailed genre analysis of sections regarding environmental issues in corporate web sites of selected oil and gas companies. The model of genre analysis adopted for the study is a synthesis between two models of genre analysis: one pertaining to the English for Specific purposes School, created by Bhatia (1993), and one that was conceived for web mediated texts, created by Askehave and Nielsen (2004). Data for the present study were collected directly from selected companies’ web sites. Particularly they are text or part of texts focusing on the impact of the companies’ operations on the environment, obtained from the section describing the Corporate Social Responsibility activities of the selected companies Findings The findings underline a common pattern in describing environmental issues in corporate web sites of selected gas and oil companies, confirming the possibility to identify a (sub) genre.
online corporate communication, corporate web site, web mediated genre, genre analysis, international business
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