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Justifying business responses to climate change: discursive strategies of similarity and difference

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  • Daniel Nyberg
  • Christopher Wright

Abstract

Despite increasing interest in corporate environmentalism, less attention has been directed to how corporations justify and defend their initiatives in this area. This is important in understanding how corporate environmentalism is legitimized in the face of crises, such as climate change, and the ongoing criticism of corporations’ deleterious impacts upon the environment. Based on qualitative data from Australian corporations, we illustrate how organizations and managers employ a range of justifications for their activities in order to meet criticism and challenges. We identify different discursive legitimation strategies that are used by managers to deal with conflicts between justifications, and argue that this framework has broader implications in understanding the arguments that underpin social conflict over environmental sustainability. Keywords: climate change, corporate environmentalism, justification, legitimation, discourse

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel Nyberg & Christopher Wright, 2012. "Justifying business responses to climate change: discursive strategies of similarity and difference," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(8), pages 1819-1835, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:8:p:1819-1835
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    Cited by:

    1. Tregidga, Helen & Milne, Markus & Kearins, Kate, 2014. "(Re)presenting ‘sustainable organizations’," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 39(6), pages 477-494.
    2. David Talbot & Olivier Boiral, 2015. "Strategies for Climate Change and Impression Management: A Case Study Among Canada’s Large Industrial Emitters," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 132(2), pages 329-346, December.

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