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Corporate environmental reporting: A test of legitimacy theory

Trevor D. Wilmshurst (Victoria University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia)
Geoffrey R. Frost (University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 1 March 2000



This paper analyses the link between the importance, as stated by reporters, of specific factors in the decision to disclose environmental information and actual reporting practices. Through a mail survey, chief finance officers (CFOs) of selected Australian companies rated the perceived importance of specific factors in the decision to disclose environmental information. Environmental disclosure within respondents’ annual reports were reviewed and an analysis was undertaken to determine if relationships existed between actual reporting practices and ratings of importance assigned to various factors. The results indicate some significant correlations between the perceived importance of a number of factors and environmental reporting practices. The results of the analysis provide limited support for legitimacy theory as an explanatory link between identified influential factors in management’s decision process and actual environmental disclosure.



Wilmshurst, T.D. and Frost, G.R. (2000), "Corporate environmental reporting: A test of legitimacy theory", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 13 No. 1, pp. 10-26.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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