To Frack or Not to Frack? The Interaction of Justification and Power in a Sustainability Controversy

Gond, J-P., Cruz, L. B., Raufflet, E. & Charron, M. (2016). To Frack or Not to Frack? The Interaction of Justification and Power in a Sustainability Controversy. Journal Of Management Studies, 53(3), pp. 330-363. doi: 10.1111/joms.12166

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Abstract

How could a de facto moratorium on shale gas exploration emerge in Québec despite the broad adoption of fracking in North American jurisdictions, support from the provincial government and a favourable power position initially enjoyed by the oil and gas industry? This paper analyses this turn of events by studying how stakeholders from government, civil society, and industry mobilized modes of justification and forms of power with the aim to influence the moral legitimacy of the fracking technology during a controversy surrounding shale gas exploration. Combining Boltanski and Thévenot's economies of worth theory with Lukes’ concept of power, we analytically induced the justification of power mechanisms whereby uses of power become justified or ‘escape’ justification, and the power of justification mechanisms by which justifications alter subsequent power dynamics. We finally explain how these mechanisms contribute to explaining the controversy's ultimate outcome, and advance current debates on political corporate social responsibility.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Gond, J.-P., Barin Cruz, L., Raufflet, E. and Charron, M. (2016), To Frack or Not to Frack? The Interaction of Justification and Power in a Sustainability Controversy. Jour. of Manage. Stud., 53: 330–363., which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12166. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: corporate social responsibility, fracking, justification, moral legitimacy, power, shale gas
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Management
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/15557

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