On-line version ISSN 1679-3951
PAGLIARUSSI, Marcelo Sanches; RIBEIRO, Jusmeire Fieni; SILVA, Alfredo Rodrigues Leite da and SILVA JUNIOR, Annor da. Linguistic choices, political costs and corporate image management: the case of Aracruz Celulose S.A.. Cad. EBAPE.BR [online]. 2011, vol.9, n.4, pp. 1136-1157. ISSN 1679-3951. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1679-39512011000400012.
In this work we analyze the process of sensemaking put in work in corporate annual reports by means of the relationship between linguistic choices made and the political costs that a specific company incurs. The theoretical propositions advanced with support from the functional grammar framework were confronted with empirical data. Our sample included the President Letters and Executive Summaries presented in the annual reports of Aracruz Celulose S.A., from 1998 to 2007. The analysis was centered on the interpretation of both syntactic and semantic functions that were used to favor particular ways of sense making when one is reading the annual reports. Aracruz Celulose was chosen due to a combination of enduring high performance and assumed high levels of political costs resulting both from environmental issues and from conflicts with native communities. The results suggest that the company predominantly attempts to give emphasis to its institutional identity by means of intensification, circumstantiation and reinforcements of its realizations, rather than present its results and goals in a neutral way. We also observed a clear intention of favor its institutional perspective, since themes related to conflicts with native communities were presented in a way that imposes to the reader the company's particular way of appraise the facts. This behavior is not congruent with a neutral presentation of information in annual reports.
Keywords : Disclosure quality; Political costs; Textual analysis; Functional grammar.