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“The Power of Language” An empirical study of discursive practices on three global knowledge intensive firms on environmental sustainability discourse.

Karolina, Pajewska; Prifti, Esmeralda and Hassan, Mumina (2010)
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Our purpose in this research was to reveal if there is a link between the debate on climate change and discursive practices of three global corporations: Siemens, Samsung, and Cisco. What are the drivers pushing corporations to engage in environmental actions? How do companies through the use of language represent themselves in particular ways to be perceived as being environmentally responsible? Do companies have any impact on discursive formations regarding the current debate on climate change? We took a critical stand when analyzing empirical data by questioning what is taken for granted.
We used discourse analysis as a tool for understanding processes occurring in organizational discourse about environmental sustainability. Discourse... (More)
Our purpose in this research was to reveal if there is a link between the debate on climate change and discursive practices of three global corporations: Siemens, Samsung, and Cisco. What are the drivers pushing corporations to engage in environmental actions? How do companies through the use of language represent themselves in particular ways to be perceived as being environmentally responsible? Do companies have any impact on discursive formations regarding the current debate on climate change? We took a critical stand when analyzing empirical data by questioning what is taken for granted.
We used discourse analysis as a tool for understanding processes occurring in organizational discourse about environmental sustainability. Discourse analysis represents an approach through which negotiation of social values, authority and knowledge can be explored. Within discourse analysis we mainly focused on rhetoric analysis and on root metaphors underlying a certain discourse.
We used rhetoric as a holistic conception of context which involves taking into consideration various perspectives, the audience, the rhetor and further into the textual features such as metaphors. The high latitude of interpretation afforded by metaphorical statement can help to accommodate the interpretations of groups perceiving their interest to be incompatible and unstructured situations can be made more concrete through the its use. Using the Foucauldian lens (1971, 1977, 1984) we can map the terrain of socio-political discursive struggle over the environment which has been shaped by the texts produced on the websites that we examined. Onkila (2009) explains rhetoric of dominance, joint action and subordination as a form of rhetoric in relation to belief that companies are the main promoters of environmental responsibility in society, thereby corporations take environmental actions, because of the knowledge they hold as a main argument for the leading role they possess.
The analysis is based on secondary material such as annual reports, sustainability reports, visual (commercials and pictures) and verbal (company videos) representations available on the companies’ official websites.
Title
Seminar date
Course
Methodology
Authors
Advisor
Key words
Purpose
Theoretical
perspectives
Empirical foundation
In this Master Paper we argued that texts in a form of annual reports, corporate speeches, and corporate public discourse available on websites of our chosen companies, from rhetorical point of view are situated examples of a corporate rhetor’s intentional effort to influence the understandings of audience on environmental issues and to motivate particular actions. The emerging eco discourse and green discourse in Cisco, Siemens and Samsung shown in our analysis illustrates discourse broadly conceived and represents a form of companies’ control. Our research can be read as a corporations’ attempt to re-establish control among challenges posed by environmentalism and the broad sustainability discourse. Looking at it through the lenses of Foucauldian theory, these texts represent ongoing discursive struggle between business and environmentalist. They draw on already existing mega-discourse of sustainable development which implicates a variety of institutional actors and social practices in relation to the ecological crisis. (Less)
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author
Karolina, Pajewska; Prifti, Esmeralda and Hassan, Mumina
supervisor
organization
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
discourse analysis, Management of enterprises, Företagsledning, management
language
Swedish
id
1729699
date added to LUP
2010-06-03 00:00:00
date last changed
2012-04-02 18:30:01
@misc{1729699,
  abstract     = {Our purpose in this research was to reveal if there is a link between the debate on climate change and discursive practices of three global corporations: Siemens, Samsung, and Cisco. What are the drivers pushing corporations to engage in environmental actions? How do companies through the use of language represent themselves in particular ways to be perceived as being environmentally responsible? Do companies have any impact on discursive formations regarding the current debate on climate change? We took a critical stand when analyzing empirical data by questioning what is taken for granted.
We used discourse analysis as a tool for understanding processes occurring in organizational discourse about environmental sustainability. Discourse analysis represents an approach through which negotiation of social values, authority and knowledge can be explored. Within discourse analysis we mainly focused on rhetoric analysis and on root metaphors underlying a certain discourse.
We used rhetoric as a holistic conception of context which involves taking into consideration various perspectives, the audience, the rhetor and further into the textual features such as metaphors. The high latitude of interpretation afforded by metaphorical statement can help to accommodate the interpretations of groups perceiving their interest to be incompatible and unstructured situations can be made more concrete through the its use. Using the Foucauldian lens (1971, 1977, 1984) we can map the terrain of socio-political discursive struggle over the environment which has been shaped by the texts produced on the websites that we examined. Onkila (2009) explains rhetoric of dominance, joint action and subordination as a form of rhetoric in relation to belief that companies are the main promoters of environmental responsibility in society, thereby corporations take environmental actions, because of the knowledge they hold as a main argument for the leading role they possess.
The analysis is based on secondary material such as annual reports, sustainability reports, visual (commercials and pictures) and verbal (company videos) representations available on the companies’ official websites.
Title
Seminar date
Course
Methodology
Authors
Advisor
Key words
Purpose
Theoretical
perspectives
Empirical foundation
In this Master Paper we argued that texts in a form of annual reports, corporate speeches, and corporate public discourse available on websites of our chosen companies, from rhetorical point of view are situated examples of a corporate rhetor’s intentional effort to influence the understandings of audience on environmental issues and to motivate particular actions. The emerging eco discourse and green discourse in Cisco, Siemens and Samsung shown in our analysis illustrates discourse broadly conceived and represents a form of companies’ control. Our research can be read as a corporations’ attempt to re-establish control among challenges posed by environmentalism and the broad sustainability discourse. Looking at it through the lenses of Foucauldian theory, these texts represent ongoing discursive struggle between business and environmentalist. They draw on already existing mega-discourse of sustainable development which implicates a variety of institutional actors and social practices in relation to the ecological crisis.},
  author       = {Karolina, Pajewska and Prifti, Esmeralda and Hassan, Mumina},
  keyword      = {discourse analysis,Management of enterprises,Företagsledning, management},
  language     = {swe},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {“The Power of Language” An empirical study of discursive practices on three global knowledge intensive firms on environmental sustainability discourse.},
  year         = {2010},
}