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Environmental innovation practices and operational performance: The joint effects of management accounting and control systems and environmental training

Jacobo Gomez-Conde (Department of Accounting, Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Madrid, Spain)
Rogerio Joao Lunkes (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil)
Fabricia Silva Rosa (Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil)

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal

ISSN: 0951-3574

Article publication date: 16 July 2019

Issue publication date: 8 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of management accounting and control systems (MACS) on environmental innovation practices and operational performance. Specifically, this study relies on Simons’ levers of control (LOC) framework to investigate how managers implement environmental innovation practices. This paper hypothesizes that a forward-looking use of MACS (i.e. interactive use) triggers the implementation of environmental innovation practices, resulting in higher operational performance. Furthermore, the authors argue that the monitoring role of MACS (i.e. diagnostic use) combined with environmental training improves the effect of environmental innovation practices on operational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses are examined through a questionnaire survey. The analyses are based on responses in an empirical study from 89 Brazilian hotels.

Findings

Empirical findings from a hierarchical moderated regression analysis support the hypothesized links.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the environmental management and management control literature by providing novel evidence on the roles MACS play in the field of sustainable development. Based on the LOC framework, the authors shed light on the understanding of how managers introduce and monitor environmental innovation practices, as well as also outlining the key effects of environmental training in enabling the novel abilities of managers and employees to better understand environmental data and identify novel potential environmentally friendly solutions in the case of deviations. This paper also adds to Wijethilake et al. (2017), providing new empirical evidence on how firms design, implement and use MACS that capture institutional pressures for sustainability from multiple stakeholders.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors wish to offer a special note of thanks to Lee Parker, the editor, and the anonymous referees for their helpful guidance and advice throughout the revision process. The authors also gratefully acknowledge the helpful comments and suggestions of Daiane Antonini Bortoluzzi (UFSC, Brazil), Beatriz Garcia Osma (UC3M, Spain), Ernesto Lopez-Valeiras (UVigo, Spain), Ricardo Malagueño (UEA, UK), Marcleide Pederneiras (UFPB, Brazil) and Jose Luis Ucieda (UAM, Spain) on earlier versions of this paper. The authors acknowledge financial assistance from the Spanish Ministry of Education and Science (ECO2016-77579-C3-3-P), Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq), and the Catedra UAM-Auditores Madrid. All authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

Citation

Gomez-Conde, J., Lunkes, R.J. and Rosa, F.S. (2019), "Environmental innovation practices and operational performance: The joint effects of management accounting and control systems and environmental training", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 32 No. 5, pp. 1325-1357. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-01-2018-3327

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited