Corporate Environmental Disclosure in Malaysia

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Saringat, Siti Masnah (2019) Corporate Environmental Disclosure in Malaysia. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


The objective of this thesis is to theoretically and empirically investigate how the changing political and economic institutional environment in Malaysia influences the quantity (CEDQty) and quality (CEDQ) of corporate environmental disclosure in both annual and sustainability reports (ARs and SRs) of Malaysian publicly-listed companies in environmentally-sensitive industries (ESI). It also examines how the explanatory variables modify the relationship between the institutional environment factors and reporting practices. This thesis developed a research instrument (i.e., Corporate Environmental Disclosure Index) based on the international and Malaysian guidelines to analyse the CEDQty and CEDQ of 411 reports by 135 companies in Malaysia for the reporting years of 2006, 2008 and 2014, an important period when substantial institutional changes occurred at both the international and the national levels. Based on institutional theory, and supported by Islamic accountability and resource-based theories, the theoretical framework developed in this thesis conceptually explained factors that drive companies’ responses to institutional pressures resulting from institutional changes, and how those institutional changes have influenced the CEDQty and CEDQ practices by Malaysian companies over time. The theoretical framework of this thesis was then empirically tested using a mixed qualitative and quantitative method. The empirical models applied the Generalised Estimating Equation (GEE) approach in recognition that panel data is used. Depending upon whether it was CEDQty or CEDQ and whether it was aggregated or individual reporting items analysed, a multivariate linear regression, binary or ordinal logistic regressions technique was used. The model developed incorporated multi-levels of institutional analysis comprising the international and Malaysian environment, along with company-specific characteristics of Islamic influence, corporate governance, financial performance and other control variables. The findings reveal that institutional changes, the non-government institutional ownership and women on boards are strong drivers for CEDQty, whereas institutional changes, female Chairperson, the non- government institutional ownership and women on boards are strong drivers for CEDQ in the Malaysian context. This thesis has multiple implications. Firstly, it offers insights into CEDQty and CEDQ practices over time in both ARs and SRs in a developing economy by focusing on Malaysia using panel data analysis. Secondly, it adds support to an application of institutional and resource-based theories, and limited support for Islamic accountability as a valid theoretical framework for the Malaysian context. Thirdly, this thesis introduces new variables of Islamic influence and corporate governance within the CED research. Finally, the findings of this thesis should be useful to the Malaysian ESI companies, regulators, accounting professions and other institutions in understanding current CEDQty and CEDQ practices so as to further increase these practices in the future.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 1501 Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
Historical > FOR Classification > 1503 Business and Management
Current > Division/Research > VU School of Business
Keywords Malaysia; companies; corporate environmental disclosure; environmentally-sensitive industries; CEDQty; CEDQ; Corporate Environmental Disclosure Index; Generalised Estimating Equation; corporate governance; Islamic accountability
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