Improving how sustainability reports drive change: a critical discourse analysis

Higgins, Colin and Coffey, Brian 2016, Improving how sustainability reports drive change: a critical discourse analysis, Journal of cleaner production, vol. 136, no. Part A, pp. 18-29, doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.01.101.

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Title Improving how sustainability reports drive change: a critical discourse analysis
Author(s) Higgins, ColinORCID iD for Higgins, Colin
Coffey, Brian
Journal name Journal of cleaner production
Volume number 136
Issue number Part A
Start page 18
End page 29
Total pages 12
Publisher Elsevier
Place of publication Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication date 2016-11-10
ISSN 0959-6526
Keyword(s) sustainability reporting
sustainability strategy
Summary In this paper we use a form of discourse analysis to explore the 'activity' that three quite different sustainability reports set up as companies communicate their social and environmental performance. Our aim is to show what sustainability reports 'do' - in order to offer insights about what they 'could do'. We show that the companies are using sustainability reporting strategically, and that sustainability is embedded in to the company's strategic priorities. Where they mostly narrate and argue a point of view, sustainability reporting can offer additional benefits by transiting towards dialogue. Dialogue provides stakeholders with the means to engage substantially with companies, and also introduce new discourses that may open up new directions in how companies contribute to sustainability.
Language eng
DOI 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.01.101
Field of Research 150303 Corporate Governance and Stakeholder Engagement
150106 Sustainability Accounting and Reporting
0907 Environmental Engineering
0910 Manufacturing Engineering
0915 Interdisciplinary Engineering
Socio Economic Objective 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Elsevier
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Business and Law
Department of Management
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