Week 3 – revised abstract

While work identity is known as a construct by institutional logic, ethical identity promoted in CSR is often viewed as hegemonic and disguised institutional legitimization because taken-for-granted notion is forced by social welfare advocacy discourse. Nevertheless, little research has been undertaken concerning how the ethical identity is constructed by discourse in comparison with the work identity. This study aims to compare ways in which work and ethical identities are formed so as to confirm whether they are promoted with different strategies in which ethical identity is disguising the commercial logic. In this case study, external communication of a pharmaceutical company, which has successfully implemented CSR, is analyzed through qualitative content analysis. Findings show that work and ethical identities are formed through interdependent synergic relationship: On the one hand, to bridge commercial logic in work and civic responsibility in ethics, organizational discourse and commitment coherently aligned with organizational image and culture create trust via transparency. On the other hand, a flexible position on the continuum between idealism and realism inspires a desirability so as to generate a voluntary engagement of all stakeholders. Hence, a new transformative perspective of CSR that demonstrates a flexible negotiation between business and ethics on the continuum can be best supported by generating trust that genuinely convinces stakeholders during the process of intertwining work and ethical identities formation.

 

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