Ulrica Altenborg; Xiaoming Lu; Anna Yelistratova , pp. 82. MAM/Sektionen för Management, 2011.
The purpose of this thesis is to study the legitimacy perspective in sustainability reporting in the given context, and to find out whether Swedish construction companies define and value their legitimacy.
In the thesis we have performed a qualitative study using the inductive method; in the research we have used hermeneutics as our starting point and constructionism as the research strategy. In the empirical part we have conducted structured interviews with a list of pre-formulated questions. For the interviews, we have chosen Sweden’s major property developers: Skanska AB, PEAB AB, NCC AB, JM AB and Midroc AB.
Companies can get motivation to report their sustainability from their perceived obligation to support license to operate. Not all the companies use stakeholder analysis in the preparation of annual reports, which lets us assume that the companies base their choice of data mainly on internal perceptions of what is required. Data is not selected basing only on what company itself finds interesting; stakeholders’ information needs are reflected in the selection process, although, just like in the first question, not necessarily deliberately. Financial rationale is merely a criterion when choosing sustainability projects to work with; it does not define whether a company is focusing on sustainability in general.