Constructing reachability in sustainability communication. A mixed-methods case study of the role of imagined futures and recoupling

Klarissa Lueg, Jens Rennstam

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftKonferenceartikelForskningpeer review


Capitalist organizational responses to the rise of sustainability talk are devastatingly clear: communicative legitimacy seeking and ceremonial sustainability talk in private companies can serve to deflect attention from high-risk operations and industries, to sugarcoat crisis issues or leadership failures, serve as window-dressing, or as reputation booster in order to increase rev-enue (Boiral, 2007; Boje, 2016; Christmann & Taylor, 2006; Massoud, Boje, Capener, & Marcillo, 2019; Westphal & Zajac, 1994). The decoupling of altruist talk and capitalist action, though under ethical scrutiny, seems to be an organizational default modus (for concept s. Brunsson, 2002). In its ubiquity, sustainability talk of capitalist organizations has been de-scribed as isomorphism (Gomes dos Reis, Jacomossi, & Casagrande, 2015; Jamali, Lund-Thomsen, & Khara, 2017) between interdependent organizations in one and the same organi-zational field. Our focal point, though, is sustainability-talk in non-capitalist, not-for-profit organizations. The fact that non-capitalist organizations do not stand to profit financially from adopting sus-tainability or moral-purpose talk makes them interesting sites for studying the role of “reacha-bility” – understood as the perception that a realistic path to a goal can be constructed – in sustainability communication. Since their survival does not hinge on profit, their formulation of goals can move beyond the boundaries of profit generating, market-based solutions. In short, they may engage with and put up goals that challenge the business-as-usual of both producers and consumers of goods, which, of course, includes themselves.
Tidsskrifttba in order to ensure blind peer review
StatusAfsendt - 2020
BegivenhedEGOS Colloquium - Hamburg, Tyskland
Varighed: 1. jul. 20204. jul. 2020


KonferenceEGOS Colloquium

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