Defensive Responses to Strategic Sustainability Paradoxes: Have Your Coke and Drink It Too!

Defensive Responses to Strategic Sustainability Paradoxes: Have Your Coke and Drink It Too! This study examines how the leading beverage company handles the strategic paradox between its core business and the social issue of obesity. A discursive analysis reveals how the organization does embrace a social goal related to obesity but not the paradoxical tension between this goal and its core business. The analysis further shows how the tension, along with the responsibility for the social goal, is projected outside the organization. This response is underpinned by the paradoxical constructions of consumers and the concept of obesity in the organization’s communication. Based on these findings, I outline a new type of process for projection, one of the defensive mechanisms recognized in the literature. The findings increase our understanding of defensive responses to organizational paradoxes and help distinguish between different kinds of strategic paradoxes. They also highlight the need to further open up the complexity and multiplicity of strategic paradoxes related to corporate sustainability. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Business Ethics Springer Journals

Defensive Responses to Strategic Sustainability Paradoxes: Have Your Coke and Drink It Too!

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Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 by Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht
Subject
Philosophy; Ethics; Business and Management, general; Management; Business Ethics; Quality of Life Research
ISSN
0167-4544
eISSN
1573-0697
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10551-017-3580-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study examines how the leading beverage company handles the strategic paradox between its core business and the social issue of obesity. A discursive analysis reveals how the organization does embrace a social goal related to obesity but not the paradoxical tension between this goal and its core business. The analysis further shows how the tension, along with the responsibility for the social goal, is projected outside the organization. This response is underpinned by the paradoxical constructions of consumers and the concept of obesity in the organization’s communication. Based on these findings, I outline a new type of process for projection, one of the defensive mechanisms recognized in the literature. The findings increase our understanding of defensive responses to organizational paradoxes and help distinguish between different kinds of strategic paradoxes. They also highlight the need to further open up the complexity and multiplicity of strategic paradoxes related to corporate sustainability.

Journal

Journal of Business EthicsSpringer Journals

Published: May 26, 2017

References

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