The Production of Green Identities in Garbage Can Decision-making Processes

Lise Backer

Publikation: Working paperForskning

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The article analyses the multinational oil-company Shell's decision in 1997 to establish Shell International Renewables. Theoretically the analysis contributes to developing the garbage can decision-making model developed originally by Cohen, March and Olsen (1972) by adding the production of organisational identities to the model. Within the scientific field of business and the environment the article contributes to a new understanding of the relationship between decision-making, green organisational identities and the process of social construction of business opportunities. This relationship can be of a sort, where the corporations' greener organisational identities are the product of random organisational garbage can decision-making processes. In such processes the rationale that the protection of the natural environment can be viewed as a business opportunity gets into focus not before, but after the decision has happened. Thus, in the process of accounting for their decision the corporations are not just accounting for a particular decision, but also in a general sense contributing to socially constructing anew what can be considered a business opportunity - also for other corporations. In this process of socially constructing new business opportunities the corporations are drawing on cultural sources not just from the field of rhetoric of economics, but also from other cultural sources within the business sector and the society as such.
UdgiverCopenhagen Business School [wp]
Antal sider46
StatusUdgivet - 2004
NavnWorking Paper / Institut for Organisation og Arbejdssociologi (IOA). Copenhagen Business School

Bibliografisk note

Submitted to the Academy of Management 2004 Annual Meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana. Division: Organizations & the Natural Environment


  • Organisationsteori
  • Socialkonstruktivisme
  • Risikoanalyse