Securing organizational legitimacy An experimental decision case examining the impact of environmental disclosures

Securing organizational legitimacy An experimental decision case examining the impact of... This paper explores the role that environmental disclosures might play in producing a legitimating effect on investors within the context of the chemical industry. By way of an experimental decision case it examines effects of negative, and the offsetting effects of positive, environmental disclosures surrounding chemical firms’ liabilities for toxic waste site liabilities. The paper outlines the theoretical bases for the process of organizational legitimation, and sets the decision experiment in a detailed historical analysis of the toxic waste problems of the 1970s that led to the enactment of legislation requiring clean up and imposing significant liabilities on chemical firms. The results from the decision experiment, which indicate that under some circumstances positive disclosures can restore or repair an organization’s legitimacy, are discussed in the context of the earlier theoretical and historical analysis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal Emerald Publishing

Securing organizational legitimacy An experimental decision case examining the impact of environmental disclosures

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2002 MCB UP Ltd. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0951-3574
DOI
10.1108/09513570210435889
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper explores the role that environmental disclosures might play in producing a legitimating effect on investors within the context of the chemical industry. By way of an experimental decision case it examines effects of negative, and the offsetting effects of positive, environmental disclosures surrounding chemical firms’ liabilities for toxic waste site liabilities. The paper outlines the theoretical bases for the process of organizational legitimation, and sets the decision experiment in a detailed historical analysis of the toxic waste problems of the 1970s that led to the enactment of legislation requiring clean up and imposing significant liabilities on chemical firms. The results from the decision experiment, which indicate that under some circumstances positive disclosures can restore or repair an organization’s legitimacy, are discussed in the context of the earlier theoretical and historical analysis.

Journal

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 1, 2002

Keywords: Investment; Decision making; Toxic waste; Liability; Chemical industry; Disclosure

References

  • Do Australian companies report environmental news objectively?
    Deegan, C; Rankin, M
  • Reconsidering the status of tests of significance: an alternative criterion of adequacy
    Lindsay, R.M
  • Managing public impressions: environmental disclosures in annual reports
    Neu, D; Warsame, H; Pedwell, K
  • Analyzing Superfund: Economics, Science, and Law
  • Organizations in Action
    Thompson, J
  • The influence of external pressure groups on corporate social disclosure: some empirical evidence
    Tilt, C.A

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