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Communicating Corporate Ethics on the World Wide Web

A Discourse Analysis of Selected Company Web Sites


Irene Pollach

Spanning the fields of corporate communication and corporate ethics, this book investigates how companies communicate their ethical stance on their web sites. The study integrates the findings of six case studies, including BellSouth, Lockheed Martin, Ben & Jerry’s, McDonald’s, Nike and Levi Strauss. This sample offers both typicality and systematic variety, as all of the six companies are in need of presenting themselves as ethical business players but belong to three different ethics paradigms. Despite this variation, their communicative strategies are quite similar regarding content choice, self-presentation, stakeholder address and the hypertextual organization of their messages.
Contents: Business Ethics vs. Corporate Social Responsibility – The Business-Ethics Paradigm – The Corporate-Social-Responsibility Paradigm – The BE & CSR Paradigm – Cross-Case Analysis.