Legitimacy theory as an explanation for corporate environmental disclosures

O'Donovan, Gary (2000) Legitimacy theory as an explanation for corporate environmental disclosures. PhD thesis, Victoria University of Technology.


The main aim of this thesis was to refine and develop legitimacy theory as an explanation for voluntary corporate envirormiental disclosures in the armual report. Legitimacy theory posits that for a corporation to continue to exist it must act in congruence with society's values and norms (Dowling & Pfeffer, 1975). An aspect of legitimacy theory, investigated in this research, is that in order to continue to exist a corporation will act to remain legitimate in the eyes of whom it considers is able to affect its legitimacy. One way corporations act to remain legitimate to these important' conferring publics', is to voluntarily disclose social and environmental information in the corporate annual report. Much of this investigation was concerned with exploring new areas and attempting to establish relationships between variables identified as important to the development of legitimacy theory. It was decided that a field study approach, using mainly interview-based qualitative data, was the optimal research methodology to achieve the objectives of this investigation. A number of senior management personnel from three large Australian-based companies were the primary source of data in relation to corporate environmental disclosure decision processes.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/15372
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Accounting
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Keywords Disclosure of information, professional ethics, environmental auditing, accounting, legitimacy theory, annual reports, environmental disclosures
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