Sustain (able) identity construction of others
Sammanfattning: This thesis examines how a multinational company constructs the identity of itself and its stakeholders to appear as a sustainable organization. Drawing on Laclau and Mouffe's (1985) discourse theory and their concept of hegemony, H&M's sustainability reports are analyzed from the year 2002 to 2019. The paper uncovers a continuous and simultaneous identity construction of not only the 'talking' organization, but also its stakeholders and the associated relationships. These identities are found to reinforce the organization's hegemonic position within the sustainability discourse in two different ways. Firstly, several legitimizing character traits are generated by the construction of multiple stakeholder relations. Secondly, the contemporary identities constructed present predominantly collaborative elements and are argued to facilitate a discharge of accountability. In a multinational context with globalized sustainability challenges, the construction of stakeholder identities is found to have an integral role when using disclosures as a legitimizing device.
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