Corporate social responsibility as cultural meaning management: a critique of the marketing of 'ethical' bottled water
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Business Ethics 20 (3):233-252 (2011)
To date, the primary focus of research in the field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been on the strategic implications of CSR for corporations and less on an evaluation of CSR from a wider political, economic and social perspective. In this paper, we aim to address this gap by critically engaging with marketing campaigns of so-called ‘ethical’ bottled water. We especially focus on a major CSR strategy of a range of different companies that promise to provide drinking water for (what they name as) ‘poor African people’ by way of Western consumers purchasing bottled water. Following Fairclough's approach, we unfold a three-step critical discourse analysis of the marketing campaigns of 10 such ‘ethical’ brands. Our results show that bottled water companies try to influence consumers' tastes through the management of the cultural meaning of bottled water, producing a more ‘ethical’ and ‘socially responsible’ perception of their products/brands. Theoretically, we base our analysis on McCracken's model of the cultural meaning of consumer goods, which, we argue, offers a critical perspective of the recent emergence of CSR and business ethics initiatives. We discuss how these marketing campaigns can be framed as historical struggles associated with neo-liberal ideology and hegemony. Our analysis demonstrates how such CSR strategies are part of a general process of the reproduction of capitalist modes of accumulation and legitimation through the usage of cultural categories
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Elisabet Garriga & Domènec Melé (2004). Corporate Social Responsibility Theories: Mapping the Territory. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 53 (1-2):51-71.
Sandro Castaldo, Francesco Perrini, Nicola Misani & Antonio Tencati (2009). The Missing Link Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Consumer Trust: The Case of Fair Trade Products. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 84 (1):1 - 15.
Guido Palazzo & Andreas Georg Scherer (2006). Corporate Legitimacy as Deliberation: A Communicative Framework. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 66 (1):71 - 88.
Herbert Marcuse (1991). One-Dimensional Man. Routledge.
Jamie Snider, Ronald Paul Hill & Diane Martin (2003). Corporate Social Responsibility in the 21st Century: A View From the World's Most Successful Firms. Journal of Business Ethics 48 (2):175-187.
Citations of this work BETA
Roni Factor, Amalya L. Oliver & Kathleen Montgomery (2013). Beliefs About Social Responsibility at Work: Comparisons Between Managers and Non-Managers Over Time and Cross-Nationally. Business Ethics 22 (1):143-158.
Anselm Schneider (2014). Embracing Ambiguity – Lessons From the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility Throughout the Rise and Decline of the Modern Welfare State. Business Ethics: A European Review 23 (3):293-308.
Similar books and articles
T. Devasenathipathi, P. T. Saleendran & J. T. Masilamani Jeevaraj, A Study on Consumers' Approach Towards Bottled Water.
Bert van De Ven (2008). An Ethical Framework for the Marketing of Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics 82 (2):339-352.
C. B. Bhattacharya (2010). Marketing's Consequences. Business Ethics Quarterly 20 (4):617-641.
John M. T. Balmer, Shaun M. Powell & Stephen A. Greyser (2011). Explicating Ethical Corporate Marketing. Insights From the BP Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe: The Ethical Brand That Exploded and Then Imploded. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 102 (1):1-14.
Béatrice Parguel, Florence Benoît-Moreau & Fabrice Larceneux (2011). How Sustainability Ratings Might Deter 'Greenwashing': A Closer Look at Ethical Corporate Communication. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 102 (1):15-28.
Gerard I. J. M. Zwetsloot (2003). From Management Systems to Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics 44 (2-3):201 - 207.
S. Duane Hansen, Benjamin B. Dunford, Alan D. Boss, R. Wayne Boss & Ingo Angermeier (2011). Corporate Social Responsibility and the Benefits of Employee Trust: A Cross-Disciplinary Perspective. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 102 (1):29-45.
Denise Baden & Ian A. Harwood (2013). Terminology Matters: A Critical Exploration of Corporate Social Responsibility Terms. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 116 (3):615-627.
Linda C. Rodríguez & Ivan Montiel (2008). Feeling Off Balance? Need an Alignment? Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 19:162-171.
Khosro S. Jahdi & Gaye Acikdilli (2009). Marketing Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility (Csr): Marriage of Convenience or Shotgun Wedding? [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 88 (1):103 - 113.
Andrea J. S. Stanaland, May O. Lwin & Patrick E. Murphy (2011). Consumer Perceptions of the Antecedents and Consequences of Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics 102 (1):47-55.
György Ligeti & Ágnes Oravecz (2009). Csr Communication of Corporate Enterprises in Hungary. Journal of Business Ethics 84 (2):137 - 149.
Virgilio M. Panapanaan, Lassi Linnanen, Minna-Maari Karvonen & Vinh Tho Phan (2003). Roadmapping Corporate Social Responsibility in Finnish Companies. Journal of Business Ethics 44 (2/3):133 - 148.
Francis Weyzig (2009). Political and Economic Arguments for Corporate Social Responsibility: Analysis and a Proposition Regarding the Csr Agenda. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 86 (4):417 - 428.
Julie Pirsch, Shruti Gupta & Stacy Landreth Grau (2007). A Framework for Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility Programs as a Continuum: An Exploratory Study. [REVIEW] Journal of Business Ethics 70 (2):125 - 140.
Added to index2011-06-21
Total downloads18 ( #153,723 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?