Sundhed - en ny virksomhedsrealitet

Lisbeth Schlottmann Larsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis investigates the health discourse in Denmark and how the health concept has developed over time. Moreover, the thesis will focus on how the increased focus on health has created a complex context for corporations to operate in. The number of news articles focusing on health has increased immensely over the last three years. Questions like, who should take responsibility and how to do it has been the centre of focus for the media. Along the changes in the health discourse corporations need to relate to a new context that has an impact on corporations’ conditions of opportunities to achieve legitimacy. Legitimacy is a deciding factor for corporations’ investments in health interventions and the concept will be unfolded through a utilization of the institutional perspective as a societal framework of understanding throughout the thesis. By examining the media’s construction of health in relation to corporations I found that corporations are placed as a problem solver of health challenges. This enables me to investigate firm’s conditions of opportunities to achieve legitimacy by following the medias’ process of legitimacy. As theoretical framework for the thesis I have used the social constructivist paradigm, thus communicating about health is largely constructed through the media. My empirical data about health is treated through a combination of Norman Fairclough and Siegfried Jägers critical discourse analysis, and this in turn enables me to survey relatively large amounts of text. In the last part of the analysis, a case study of Carlsberg Denmark ‐ Denmark's largest brewery – is conducted. Carlsberg Denmark's communications and actions in relation to health are interesting, since they seem to be in directly conflict with the health discourse. Through the critical discourse analysis I examine Carlsberg Denmark’s practices in relation to health, and these are compared with public practices in the discussion. Furthermore, I will discuss the development of the media and its impact on companies' opportunities to gain legitimacy through health communication. Finally, in the outlook, I reflect upon the utilized methods and analysis. The thesis is thrown into relief by looking at how the results can be observed through Ulrich Beck’s risk society.

EducationsMSc in Organisational Communication, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages117