Uppförandekoder som etisk varumärkning? : Ansvar i företag med globala värdekedjor
Sammanfattning: Since the late 1990s, the presence of ethical codes of conduct in companies has increased dramatically, especially in companies with strong brands, as well as in industries where companies outsource business to suppliers in low-income countries. The demands on, and renewed interest in, companies taking social responsibility, as often summarized in the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR), for problems in their value chains, seems thus intertwined with the processes of globalization.The communication of social responsibility in companies is discussed in CSR communication and ethical branding , two emerging streams of research that are related to the overall classification of social responsibility, communication and branding in globalization. However, in spite of the extensive literature on social responsibility and communication in companies the last decades, there is a need for more research uncovering the contextualization of ethical codes of conduct in global brands.The aim of the thesis is to interpret the process by which ethical codes of conduct as communication of responsibility are developed in companies with global value chains, by examining the factors underlying this communication. An ethnographically inspired approach is used to facilitate a holistic understanding and included in the study are interviews with companies and NGOs, as well as field studies from value chains in Thailand and Vietnam.The study shows that the basic way in which responsibility are communicated in companies’ global value chains is in the shape of long interlinked “chains of responsibility”, which takes the form of staging. Staging captures how responsibility comes into play. It happens gradually through dramatized events, based on ethical codes of conduct that are themselves standardized scripts. They take place in border movements between the front stage and backstage, where the actors play the roles that are increasingly expected to identify with them.
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