Accounting for the unaccountable : biodiversity reporting and impression management

Auteur(s): Boiral, Olivier
Résumé: This paper explores the strategies organizations use to demonstrate their accountability for biodiversity and legitimize their impact in this area through the use of techniques of neutralization. Neutralization aims to manage stakeholder impressions on very socially sensitive issues. Based on the content analysis of 148 sustainability reports from mining organizations, the study sheds light on the successful use of rhetoric in reports on non-measurable and potentially unaccountable issues. Specifically, the study shows that mining organizations use four main techniques of neutralization when they explain their impact on biodiversity. When they address stakeholders, they defend their social legitimacy and environmental responsiveness using one of the four techniques: they claim of a net positive or neutral impact on biodiversity, they deny that they have a significant impact, they distance themselves from the impact of their actions, and they play down their responsibilities. The study contributes to the literature on corporate sustainability and accounting for stakeholders. It focuses on under-researched issues such as the management of biodiversity and the tactics used to rationalize negative impacts. The study also bridges the gap between theories about organizational legitimacy, impression management, and techniques of neutralization.
Type de document: Article de recherche
Date de publication: 16 décembre 2014
Date de la mise en libre accès: 13 avril 2017
Lien permanent: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11794/13662
Ce document a été publié dans: Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 135 (4), 751–768 (2016)
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2497-9
Springer
Autre version disponible: 10.1007/s10551-014-2497-9
Collection :Articles publiés dans des revues avec comité de lecture

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