A Study of the Discursive Construction of CSR Through the Use of Stock and Non-stock Images

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Abstract

Building on previous discursive research in CSR (Campbell, 2000; Livesey, 2002, Cho and Roberts, 2010), this research examines CSR communication by aligning with the view that CSR is a socio-cognitive construction (Bartlett and Devin, 2011; Gond and Matten, 2007; Siltaoja, 2006) which promotes the theory that organisations develop their own definitions of CSR that becomes embedded in the discourses that they indulge in. When an organisation has to communicate on a topic that does not have a universally accepted formulation (such as CSR), it indulges in a discursive struggle in order to frame the concept and make sense of it (Cornelissen, 2012). This need to communicate on CSR can be viewed as a disruption that prompts the organisation to contemplate and redefine existing meanings in order to meet the demands of its stakeholders (Iivonen and Moisander, 2015). CSR is thus rendered ‘discursively open’ (Guthey and Morsing, 2014). Consequently, CSR is manifested in responsibility devices that are carefully crafted by both organisational and non-organisational actors each with a stake in CSR through the process of CSR sensemaking. The sensemaking theory proposed by Karl Weick (1995) is useful starting point in developing an understanding of this process. This theory fundamentally focuses on the cognitive map of the sense-maker as critical in understanding how organisations deal with the issues that it faces. Sensemaking refers to the ways by which organisations construct reality by providing representations and explanations for their actions through cognitive and communicative practices that they indulge in (Iivonen and Moisander, 2015).
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2018
EventInternational Congress on Social and Environmental Accounting Research 2018 - University of St Andrews, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Aug 201830 Aug 2018

Conference

ConferenceInternational Congress on Social and Environmental Accounting Research 2018
Abbreviated title30th CSEAR
CountryUnited Kingdom
CitySt Andrews
Period27/08/1830/08/18

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