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Constructing accountability in business-stakeholder relationships: the role of CSR communication

Tampere University
Area of focusSociety

The project "Constructing accountability in business-stakeholder relationships: the role of CSR communication" examines the concept of accountability from the perspective of communication and linguistic strategies.


Accountability is often understood as a one-way process whereby an organization explains, justifies and takes responsibility for its economic, environmental and social activities. According to an alternative view, accountability is a dynamic, two-way phenomenon associated with different values and, subsequently, conflicting views on who should be accountable to whom, for what, and through which mechanism. However, there is relatively little research on such accountability conflicts.


The aim of this project is to increase theoretical and societal understanding of the construction of accountability in the communications between organizations and their stakeholders. The study focuses on the CSR reports of public and private organizations as well as counter-accounts produced by civic society.

The project analyzes especially the linguistic means by which different actors aim to define the meaning of accountability as well as the roles of the public sector, companies, non-governmental organizations and consumers in seeking sustainable development outcomes. The empirical part of the project examines conflicts related to natural resources such as forests, water, and minerals in Finland, Estonia and Romania.



Funding source

Academy of Finland

Contact persons

Eija Vinnari

Professor, project leader

eija.vinnari [at], 0503187602