Corporate scandals are events frequently followed by public distrust, intensified scrutiny and corporate measures aimed at explaining the wrongdoing. In the attempt to cope with these adverse consequences, companies may adopt a responsibility-driven approach to reporting and leverage on voluntary reporting to fulfil share/stakeholders’ informational rights. Letter to shareholders (LS) is one of the most important form of voluntary reporting that facilitates the company (in the person of the signer) to address a message to share/stakeholders. Drawing on Gray, Owen, and Adams’s (1996) definition of accountability, this study aims to inspect how LS helps discharge the duty to provide explanations in time of scandals. It particularly focuses on the Volkswagen “dieselgate” and critically examines the discourses that dominate the LS issued in the annual report 2015. The findings point out that the LS serves as an official document to openly apologise about the occurrence and refers to the scandal through metaphors and value assumptions. In particular, Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer writes about the scandal throughout the LS, however without mentioning the word “dieselgate”, and represents all the social actors involved in, and affected by, the scandal. This study contributes to prior literature on the Volkswagen dieselgate by providing insights on the company communication behaviour. It also contributes to extant literature on the LS by adding understandings of the discourses that may help companies discharge accountability through this document, especially in time of scandals.
|Titolo:||A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Volkswagen Letter to Shareholders after the Diesel Scandal|
SPROVIERO, ALICE FRANCESCA (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2019|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||02.01 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|