A Confrontational Attitude? A Study of Greenpeace Denmark’s Attitude Towards the Corporate Sector

Lea Henriette Røjgaard

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

The academic literature has identified a trend in the relationship between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and businesses – a trend from confrontation to collaboration. On the surface, Greenpeace Denmark does not seem to reflect the trend, since the organisation relies on confrontational tactics towards companies. The purpose of this thesis is to go below the surface and study Greenpeace Denmark’s attitude towards the corporate sector. The focus of the study is to examine the development of Greenpeace DK’s attitude towards the corporate sector and the extent to which the trend of NGO-business collaboration is expressed in the Greenpeace Denmark’s current attitude. I study Greenpeace Denmark’s attitude towards the corporate sector by examining Greenpeace Denmark’s frames and its ideological orientations. The focus on frames enables me to identify Greenpeace Denmark’s problem identification, problem attribution and suggestions of solutions. The focus on ideological orientations enables me to gain a deeper understanding of the frames and assess the extent to which Greenpeace Denmark expresses the ideological orientation behind the trend of NGO-business collaboration. I conduct a comparative analysis of Greenpeace DK’s frames and ideological orientations in the early years (1979-1986) and the recent years (2012-2017). The data is comprised of written organisational documents in the form of press releases, membership magazines and thematic magazines. The main findings of the thesis are: (1) Greenpeace Denmark’s evaluation of the problems in the corporate sector has not changed over the history of the organisation. (2) Greenpeace Denmark sees one less opportunity in the corporate sector today, but it values the opportunities in the corporate sector more and assigns a higher priority to them than in the early years. (3) The ideological orientation behind the trend of NGO-business collaboration is only expressed to a limited extent in Greenpeace Denmark’s current attitude towards the corporate sector. (4) Contrary to my assumption, the ideological orientation is also reflected in Greenpeace DK’s attitude in the early years, however to a lesser degree than today.

EducationsMSc in International Business and Politics, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages134