Anne Touboulic — Business & Society Research Seminar

June 1st, 2017 / 12:00 – 13:30 / Paris Campus (Room 2112)

For the 15th Business & Society Research Seminar, ESCP Europe & Sustbusy Research Center welcomed:

Anne Touboulic

Nottingham University Business School

Voiceless but empowered farmers in corporate supply chains: Contradictory representations and instrumental approach to emancipation

Some scholars have called for increased paradigm diversity in the field of sustainable supply chain management and for a shift of focus on producing knowledge “for” transforming supply chains to move towards sustainability, promoting the need to engage with the more political and power-laden aspects of such transformation (Matthews, Power, Touboulic, & Marques, 2016; Montabon, Pagell, & Wu, 2016). This paper attempts to offer an empirically grounded response to these calls by examining issues of oppression and empowerment in global food supply chains from a critical realist stance. We seek to better understand how farmers are represented in the context of sustainability in supply chains and what these representations imply about the nature of oppression and possibilities of emancipation for this group. We adopt Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to examine the representations of farmers in a series of videos designed, created and disseminated by one large organisation, Unilever, on their own YouTube channel. We expose the underlying mechanisms at different levels and explore possibilities for real emancipation in this context.

Coordinating Professors:

Aurélien Acquier (

Valentina Carbone (