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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter 2020

Corporate identity and its variation over time

A corpus-assisted study of self-presentation strategies in Vodafone’s Sustainability Reports

Alessandra Molino

Abstract

This study explores the discursive construction of corporate identity in disclosure statements about non-financial performance. The corpus for analysis consists of the Sustainability Reports published by Vodafone, the British telecommunications company, over twelve fiscal years, from 2000/2001 to 2011/2012. After retrieving instances of self-references in subject position and quantifying them, the collocational profile of the two most frequent forms, i.e. Vodafone and we, will be described paying attention to the textual meanings most often associated with them through the analysis of concordance lines and their classification in functional groups (Mahlberg 2007). Due to its relatively long and consistent tradition of social and environmental reporting, Vodafone is eligible for a case study of whether and how its corporate identity has changed over time. Therefore, self-presentation patterns will be examined not only in the corpus as a whole, but also in individual subcorpora to gather evidence of possible rhetorical shifts in the way Vodafone has shaped and reshaped its corporate identity.

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