Ett tryggt företag i en otrygg bransch - En kvalitativ studie om hur socialt ansvar framställs för att legitimera en kontroversiell verksamhet

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Lunds universitet/Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation

Sammanfattning: The interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasing. Today, organiza-tions face stronger demands and expectations from stakeholders to more active work with CSR than ever. While the interest in CSR is increasing, companies operating in controversial industries are being criticized for using CSR commitments as strate-gies for obtaining legitimacy. Our perception is that the majority of previous re-search investigating how CSR is used for the purpose of legitimizing controversial industries, tend to disregard the linguistic and communicative aspects. The aim of this study is therefore to shed light on the phenomenon of CSR from a discursive perspective, and to investigate how CSR can be communicated for strategic purpos-es in order to legitimize the marketing of a controversial business. The study is made from a social constructivist perspective, where the focus is placed on how the use of language construct the concept of social responsibility. With a theoretical framework based on discursive theory, CSR and corporate legitimacy, a discourse analysis is applied on a case study. The analysis identifies three main discourses that is used in the construction of social responsibility and conclude that there is an ongoing strug-gle between them. The main conclusion suggest that the construction of social re-sponsibility can be used for strategic purposes in order to distance the organization from the negative aspects of a controversial business, as well as to demonstrate the positive effects of the product it offers. Finally, it is concluded that social responsi-bility is constructed by actively relating to what is prioritized in the society’s agenda and that this becomes a central part of the legitimization process to market a contro-versial business

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