Quotation Höllerer, Markus, Jancsary, Dennis, Meyer, Renate, Vettori, Oliver. 2013. Imageries of corporate social responsibility: Visual recontextualization and field-level meaning. Research in the Sociology of Organizations, 39 (2), 139-174.


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Abstract

In this paper, we explore how corporations use visual artifacts to translate and re-contextualize a globally theorized managerial concept (CSR) into a local setting (Austria). In our analysis of the field-level visual discourse, we analyze over 1,600 images in stand-alone CSR reports of publicly traded corporations. We borrow from framing analysis and structural linguistics to show how the meaning structure underlying a multifaceted construct like CSR is constituted by no more than a relatively small number of fundamental dimensions and rhetorical standpoints (topoi). We introduce the concept of imageries-of-practice to embrace the critical role that shared visual language plays in the construction of meaning and the emergence of field-level logics. In particular, we argue that imageries-of-practice, compared to verbal vocabularies, are just as well equipped to link locally resonating symbolic representations and globally diffusing practices, thus expressing both the material and ideational dimension of institutional logics in processes of translation. We find that visual rhetoric used in the Austrian discourse emphasizes the qualities of CSR as a bridging concept, and facilitates the mediation of inconsistencies in several ways: By translating abstract global ideas into concrete local knowledge, imageries-of-practice aid in mediating spatial oppositions; by linking the past, present, and future, they bridge time; by mediating between different institutional spheres and their divergent logics they appease ideational oppositions and reduce institutional complexity; and, finally, by connecting questionable claims with representations of authenticity, they aid in overcoming credibility gaps.

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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Research in the Sociology of Organizations
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new STRAT-B, WH-B
Language English
Title Imageries of corporate social responsibility: Visual recontextualization and field-level meaning
Volume 39
Number 2
Year 2013
Page from 139
Page to 174
Reviewed? Y
URL http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/S0733-558X%282013%29003
DOI na
Open Access Y

Associations

Projects
The visual dimension in organizing, organization, and organization research
Interlocking theorizations: ‘Bundles’ of interdependent management concepts and their local variations
People
Höllerer, Markus (Details)
Jancsary, Dennis (Details)
Meyer, Renate (Details)
Vettori, Oliver (Former researcher)
Organization
Research Institute for Urban Management and Governance FI (Details)
Urban Management and Governance (Meyer) (Details)
Institute for Public Management and Governance IN (Details)
Institute for Organization Studies IN (Details)
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