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'Seeing’ Papua New Guinea

Making Order and Disorder through a Petroleum Project

Steffen Dalsgaard

This article contributes to debates about how capitalist corporations ‘see’, and how they concurrently relate to the places where they are located. It argues that an analytical focus on ‘seeing’ illuminates how internal organization and outward relation making are tied together in complex ways. Even so, corporations of the extractive industries in particular cannot be assumed to encompass a single coherent view. The empirical case is a critical examination of how a gas project employed strict health, safety, and security measures to generate order when encountering alterity in an unfamiliar environment in Papua New Guinea. It reveals how the project was organized around two conflicting ways of seeing its host country—trying to separate itself from it while simultaneously having to engage and provide benefits for it.

Open access

Between social footprint and compliance, or “what IBAMA wants”

Equinor Brazil's social sustainability policy

Iselin Åsedotter Strønen

Abstract

This article analyzes an “Environmental Education Project” run by the Norwegian state oil company Equinor targeting poor women in the seafood processing industry along the coastline adjacent to Equinor's offshore Peregrino field in Brazil. The project is a prerequisite for Equinor's operating license, as required by Brazilian federal environmental authorities. I analyze the broader sociopolitical territory within which the project is implemented, how it is discursively framed and institutionally implemented within Equinor Brazil, and how this conjoins with the Brazilian state's regulatory framework. I argue that Brazilian legislation and the hands-on approach of authorities uphold Equinor's commitment to the project and bolster Equinor's CSR practitioners’ capacity to defend it within the corporate organization. The analysis demonstrates how national legislation and political context shape international oil and gas companies’ approaches to CSR.

Free access

Introduction

Ethnographic engagements with global elites

Paul Robert Gilbert and Jessica Sklair

ethnographers of finance, law, and corporate organization who, like the proponents of the ontological turn, have drawn on Latour’s methodology without questioning its relation to his conservative political orientation (see Hornborg 2014: 126 )—it seems that