Resignifying corporate responsibility in performative documentaries

Martin Fougère*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Critical scholars of Corporate Responsibility (CR) argue that one way to make CR good for society would be to demand its full realization in subversive interventions, in line with the critical performativity objective of subversion of managerial discourses and practices. This paper studies CR-oriented performative documentary films, in which the main protagonists problematize business impacts on society through various interventions aimed to have effects on: (1) themselves; (2) the corporations they target; (3) the surrounding society; and (4) the viewers of the films. 23 documentary films that target corporate responsibilities through a range of interventions are studied, and eight different kinds of effects they have are analyzed. The documentaries are found to be enactments of critical performativity that resignify CR, through subversive interventions involving: (1) staged embodiments of subject positions; (2) the staging of felicitous conditions; (3) effective roles, genres and tropes; and (4) the use of ‘enlightened failed performatives’.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Management Inquiry
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 06.05.2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • Artistic Interventions
  • Business & Society
  • Corporate Social Responsibility

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Responsible organising


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