Institutional Processes and Discursive Strategies: Rhetoric and Vocabulary Analysis of CSR and Sustainability

Michetti, Giulio (2013) Institutional Processes and Discursive Strategies: Rhetoric and Vocabulary Analysis of CSR and Sustainability, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Direzione aziendale, 25 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/5736.
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The candidate tackled an important issue in contemporary management: the role of CSR and Sustainability. The research proposal focused on a longitudinal and inductive research, directed to specify the evolution of CSR and contribute to the new institutional theory, in particular institutional work framework, and to the relation between institutions and discourse analysis. The documental analysis covers all the evolution of CSR, focusing also on a number of important networks and associations. Some of the methodologies employed in the thesis have been employed as a consequence of data analysis, in a truly inductive research process. The thesis is composed by two section. The first section mainly describes the research process and the analyses results. The candidates employed several research methods: a longitudinal content analysis of documents, a vocabulary research with statistical metrics as cluster analysis and factor analysis, a rhetorical analysis of justifications. The second section puts in relation the analysis results with theoretical frameworks and contributions. The candidate confronted with several frameworks: Actor-Network-Theory, Institutional work and Boundary Work, Institutional Logic. Chapters are focused on different issues: a historical reconstruction of CSR; a reflection about symbolic adoption of recurrent labels; two case studies of Italian networks, in order to confront institutional and boundary works; a theoretical model of institutional change based on contradiction and institutional complexity; the application of the model to CSR and Sustainability, proposing Sustainability as a possible institutional logic.


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