Department of Management

CSR Stakeholder Dialogue in Disguise: Hypocrisy in Story Performances

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Based on a qualitative study of multiple stakeholder dialogues in a CSR context, the purpose of this study is to show how hypocrisy emerges in dialogue settings. As such, we challenge the normative CSR communication literature, which highlights stakeholder dialogue as an ideal way to avoid and solve potential accusations of hypocrisy. Drawing on an antenarrative methodology and focusing on the positioning strategies in story performances, this study demonstrates how new types of hypocrisy in stakeholder dialogue emerge. Rather than manifesting as a strategic space for avoiding or solving accusations of hypocrisy, this study shows that hypocrisy in dialogue is a) a performative concept, b) fundamental to organizational affiliation, and c) omnipresent and inescapable for dialogue participants, metaphorically defining the dialogue as a “theatre of hypocrisy.” Hypocrisy in dialogue is accompanied by a high level of reflexivity among dialogue participants, which we conclude is the driving force of the dialogue.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Research
Pages (from-to)421-435
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Antenarrative methodology, CSR communication, Case study, Hypocrisy, Stakeholder dialogue

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