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Standardizing responsibility through the stakeholder figure

Norwegian hydropower in Turkey

Ståle Knudsen, Ingrid Birce Müftüoğlu, and Isabelle Hugøy


Through a multi-sited study of the Norwegian state-owned renewable energy corporation Statkraft, this article explores how the increasing embedding of corporate social responsibility in international guidelines impacts the way responsibility is handled when large energy corporations operate overseas. Focusing on one of Statkraft's projects in Turkey, we detail how standards are used to guide both operations in the field and external reporting, in the process distancing the corporation from its Norwegian origin. We argue that the application of standards results in much less standardization than is often assumed. “Stories” become as important for reporting as standards, and the elusive figure of the “stakeholder” plays an important role in holding together the heterogeneous field of corporate responsibility.