The Translation of Organizational Morals in Discourses

Vitor Hugo Klein, Christian Huber, Tobias Scheytt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


This chapter asks how morals are translated from societal discourses into codes of conduct inside organizations. To answer this question, we build on the distinction between local, organizational discourses (lower case “d”) and broader societal Discourses (upper case “D”). We relate to the findings of an in-depth case study in a Brazilian conglomerate. First, we outline the Brazilian public Discourses around the changing morals underpinning the ethanol industry. Second, we show how actors in the conglomerate translated the morals underpinning Discourses into local discourses shaping organizational conduct. Challenging the over-emphasis of either macro-level institutional influences or micro-level situated influences on the empirical investigation and theorization of morals in organizations, we show how Discourses drifted in and out of the picture. Based on this analysis, we argue that studying the translation of morals from a varieties-of-discourse perspective offers an alternative approach to situated and institutional studies of morals in organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOrganisierte Moral : Zur Ambivalenz von Gut und Böse in Organisationen
EditorsAndré Armbruster, Cristina Besio
Number of pages22
Place of PublicationWiesbaden
PublisherSpringer VS
Publication date2021
ISBN (Print)9783658315542
ISBN (Electronic)9783658315559
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Published online: 12 December 2021.


  • Moral
  • Discourse
  • Translation
  • Brazil
  • Ethanol industry

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