‘Mixing’ and ‘Bending’ : The recontextualisation of discourses of sustainability in integrated reporting

Zappettini, F. and Unerman, J. (2016) ‘Mixing’ and ‘Bending’ : The recontextualisation of discourses of sustainability in integrated reporting. Discourse and Communication, 10 (5). pp. 521-542. ISSN 1750-4813

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Since their emergence, discourses of sustainability have been widely resemioticised in different genres and have intertextually merged with other discourses and practices. This article examines the emergence of Integrated Reporting (IR) as a new hybrid genre in which, along with financial information, organisations may choose to report the social and environmental impacts of their activities in one single document. Specifically, this article analyses a selected sample of IRs produced by early adopters to explore how discourses of sustainability have been recontextualised into financial and economic macro discourses and how different intertextual/interdiscursive relations have played out in linguistic constructions of ‘sustainability’. We contend that, by and large, the term sustainability has been appropriated, mixed with other discourses and semantically ‘bent’ to construct the organisation itself as being financially sustainable, that is, viable and profitable and for the primary benefit of shareholders. From this stance, we argue that, through the hybridity of IR, most companies have primarily colonised discourses of sustainability for the rhetorical purpose of self-legitimation. © 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Discourse and Communication
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The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Discourse and Communication, 10 (5), 2016, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2016 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the Discourse and Communication page: http://journals.sagepub.com/home/dcm on SAGE Journals Online: http://journals.sagepub.com/
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? accountabilitycorporate social responsibilitycritical discourse analysisfinancial communicationgenre analysishybridityintegrated reportinginterdiscursivityrecontextualisationsemantic bendingsustainabilitylinguistics and languagecommunication ??
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Deposited On:
28 Aug 2018 10:36
Last Modified:
31 Dec 2023 00:59