Title: Communicating sustainability practices and values: a case study approach of a micro-organisation in the UK

Authors: Panayiota J. Alevizou; Claudia E. Henninger; Chloe Spinks

Addresses: Management School, University of Sheffield, Conduit Road, Sheffield, S10 1FL, UK ' School of Materials, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL, UK ' Management School, University of Sheffield, Conduit Road, Sheffield, S10 1FL, UK

Abstract: This article investigates sustainability communication through the lens of integrated marketing communication (IMC) by focusing on one case organisation that sees aspects of sustainability at the heart of its operations. This qualitative inquiry utilises a case study approach and a variety of methodological tools, including in-depth semi-structured interviews and semiotic analysis of online and offline media. Findings highlight although the case organisation seeks to use an IMC approach across their multiple communication channels the same message cannot always be conveyed as, especially social media channels, have restricted formatting settings. As a result the encoded message is confusing and leads to a loss of meaning. Although this research is based on a single case study, it allows for an in-depth investigation of a phenomenon and practical recommendations on how to overcome challenges with online platforms. This research is of value as it investigates IMC in and under researched context micro-organisations, as well as combines it with challenges of effectively broadcasting sustainability messages to an end-consumer.

Keywords: integrated marketing communications; IMC; micro-organisations; sustainability communication; sustainability; UK.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBG.2019.097388

International Journal of Business and Globalisation, 2019 Vol.22 No.1, pp.37 - 52

Received: 28 Feb 2017
Accepted: 19 May 2017

Published online: 18 Jan 2019 *

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