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Building a trustworthy corporate identity : A corpus-based analysis of stance in annual and corporate social responsibility reports

Fuoli, Matteo LU (2016) In Applied Linguistics
Abstract
This article presents a corpus-based analysis of stance in a specialized corpus of annual and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. It investigates how companies use stance expressions to construct and promote a positive corporate identity in order to gain the trust of the stakeholder groups that these texts target. The results show that companies profile distinct identities in annual and CSR reports. In annual reports, they use stance resources to portray themselves as unbiased, rational, and competent decision makers. In CSR reports, they present themselves as committed, honest, and caring corporate citizens. These discursive identities are interpreted as strategic self-representations that optimize the persuasive appeal of the... (More)
This article presents a corpus-based analysis of stance in a specialized corpus of annual and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. It investigates how companies use stance expressions to construct and promote a positive corporate identity in order to gain the trust of the stakeholder groups that these texts target. The results show that companies profile distinct identities in annual and CSR reports. In annual reports, they use stance resources to portray themselves as unbiased, rational, and competent decision makers. In CSR reports, they present themselves as committed, honest, and caring corporate citizens. These discursive identities are interpreted as strategic self-representations that optimize the persuasive appeal of the reports by addressing the specific expectations of the target readerships. This study sheds some new light on the identity work performed by companies in their public discourse. It also provides novel insights into the impression management strategies used by companies in annual and CSR reports. Finally, it provides both linguists and business communication scholars with a robust descriptive basis for critically assessing financial and CSR reporting. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
in press
subject
keywords
corporate identity, corporate communication, impression management, evaluation,, genre analysis, corpus linguistics
in
Applied Linguistics
publisher
Oxford University Press
ISSN
1477-450X
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
09cc1f12-21da-46e7-bc2b-9ab6d7d4d010
date added to LUP
2016-11-13 16:03:08
date last changed
2017-06-02 19:43:15
@article{09cc1f12-21da-46e7-bc2b-9ab6d7d4d010,
  abstract     = {This article presents a corpus-based analysis of stance in a specialized corpus of annual and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. It investigates how companies use stance expressions to construct and promote a positive corporate identity in order to gain the trust of the stakeholder groups that these texts target. The results show that companies profile distinct identities in annual and CSR reports. In annual reports, they use stance resources to portray themselves as unbiased, rational, and competent decision makers. In CSR reports, they present themselves as committed, honest, and caring corporate citizens. These discursive identities are interpreted as strategic self-representations that optimize the persuasive appeal of the reports by addressing the specific expectations of the target readerships. This study sheds some new light on the identity work performed by companies in their public discourse. It also provides novel insights into the impression management strategies used by companies in annual and CSR reports. Finally, it provides both linguists and business communication scholars with a robust descriptive basis for critically assessing financial and CSR reporting.},
  author       = {Fuoli, Matteo},
  issn         = {1477-450X},
  keyword      = {corporate identity,corporate communication,impression management,evaluation,,genre analysis,corpus linguistics},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {11},
  publisher    = {Oxford University Press},
  series       = {Applied Linguistics},
  title        = {Building a trustworthy corporate identity : A corpus-based analysis of stance in annual and corporate social responsibility reports},
  year         = {2016},
}