Storytelling and Sustainability Reporting: An Exploratory Study of Leading US Retailers

Jones, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-9566-9393 and Comfort, Daphne (2018) Storytelling and Sustainability Reporting: An Exploratory Study of Leading US Retailers. Athens Journal of Business and Economics, 4 (2). pp. 147-162. doi:10.30958/ajbe.4.2.2

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Stories, in one form or another, are probably as old as the human race, but in recent years, businesses have increasingly come to recognise the importance of storytelling. The aim of this paper is to offer an exploratory review of storytelling within the sustainability reports published by the leading US retail companies. The paper begins with an outline of the characteristics of storytelling within the corporate world, reviews the ways storytelling is employed in some of the major US retailers’ most recent sustainability reports and offers some reflections on current approaches to storytelling in sustainability reporting within the retail sector of the economy. The paper identifies a number of storytelling formats, including photographs, cameo case studies, impact stories and video clips, used by the leading US retailers. However while such stories often have a strong human impact and can strike emotive chords, the authors would argue that stories can be, at least partly, misleading in that they do not necessarily fully reflect a retailer’s sustainability record.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Stories, storytelling, sustainability reports, US retailers.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business > HF5428 Retail Trade
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2018 11:05
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2023 20:21

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