Frances Chua

Doctor of Philosophy, (Accounting)
Study Completed: 2016
Massey Business School

Citation

Thesis Title
Discourse Analysis of Corporate Codes of Ethics

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Recurring corporate failures have seen an increasing number of corporations producing codes of ethics to signal their ethical commitment to public interest by setting boundaries for appropriate business behaviour. Such codes were perceived to be a type of corporate discourse instituted only after some legitimacy-threatening events. To attain a better understanding of the discursive role of corporate codes of ethics to (re)gain public trust and legitimacy, Mrs Chua conducted a discourse analysis of 100 global corporate codes using the basic tenets of discourse theory and institutional theory to capture the relationship between the ’context’ and ’text’ of the codes. Her research found that corporate codes of ethics were sufficiently persuasive to support the pragmatic, cognitive, and moral legitimising causes. However, their content was comparatively light in ethical substance and tended to focus on behavioural constraints addressing the pressing legitimacy issues and the compliance of rules relating to these constraints.

Supervisors
Professor Fawzi Laswad
Professor Hector Perera
Professor Asheq Rahman

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