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Navigating Populism: A Study of How German and Swedish Corporations Articulate the Refugee Situation in 2015-2016
Copenhagen Business Sch, Frederiksberg, Denmark..
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4961-1569
Copenhagen Business Sch, Frederiksberg, Denmark.;Copenhagen Business Sch, Dept Business Humanities & Law, Porcelenshaven 18B, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark..
Univ Mannheim, Mannheim, Germany.
2023 (English)In: Business & society, ISSN 0007-6503, E-ISSN 1552-4205Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Sustainable development
00. Sustainable Development, 16. Peace, justice and strong institutions
Abstract [en]

To study how populist sentiments have increasingly influenced businesses in society, we examine how German and Swedish corporations addressed the refugee situation in their 2015 and 2016 annual reports. We find that corporations changed their communication once refugee migration became subjected to populist political sentiments, but that they did so without subscribing to those sentiments. Although populism is based on such sharp oppositions as welcoming refugees or closing borders, our analysis shows that corporations have found ways to communicate about the refugee migration beyond these oppositions. Rather than taking a political stance, the corporations studied have primarily articulated the refugee situation as it pertains to their business operations. We identify four modes of articulation: the refugee as someone needing international aid, as a factor for economic analysis, as a benefit recipient, or as a potential stakeholder. These findings help nuance our understanding of how corporations navigate contested political issues.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2023.
Keywords [en]
corporate reporting, discourse analysis, politics, populism, refugee crisis
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-62703DOI: 10.1177/00076503231202020ISI: 001077985600001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85173940377Local ID: HOA;intsam;911430OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-62703DiVA, id: diva2:1806588
Available from: 2023-10-23 Created: 2023-10-23 Last updated: 2023-10-23

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Larsson Olaison, Ulf

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