Corporate argumentation for acceptability: Reflections of environmental values and stakeholder relations in corporate environmental statements [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 87 (2):285 - 298 (2009)
This article studies argumentation for acceptability of corporate environmental actions in corporate environmental statements, with emphasis on stakeholder relations and environmental values. Stakeholder theory is commonly taken as the basis for corporate environmental management, and rhetoric typical of the stakeholder approach dominates the field. Although environmental issues are strongly charged with values, the dominant stakeholder approach does not stress the value dimension. The data of the study consists of environmental statements by Finnish forerunning business corporations in the forefront of corporate environmental responsibility. The results of the study indicate that the statements argue for the acceptability of corporate environmental actions through three power-related rhetorical forms that are competing ways to produce acceptability in the data: dominance, subordination and equality, and joint action. Each rhetorical form describes a power-based relationship between stakeholders and the corporation and leans on a specific value type producing legitimacy for that rhetoric form.
Keywords acceptability  argumentation  corporate environmental management  environmental values  stakeholder relations
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DOI 10.2307/40294922
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