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Eco-control change and environmental performance: a longitudinal perspective

Jean-Francois Henri (École de comptabilité, Université Laval Québec, Canada)
Marc Journeault (École de comptabilité, Université Laval Québec, Canada)
Carl Brousseau (École de comptabilité, Université Laval Québec, Canada)

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change

ISSN: 1832-5912

Article publication date: 5 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this longitudinal study is to quantitatively examine the impact of changes in the mix of eco-controls. More specifically, the purpose of this study is twofold. First, it investigates the nature of change occurring in eco-controls by analyzing three attributes of change, namely, direction of change, scope of change and scale of change. Second, this study investigates the impact of changes in eco-controls by examining to what extent the three attributes of change specifically explain environmental performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Longitudinal survey approach is used to collect data from a sample of manufacturing firms at two points in time.

Findings

The results suggest three main conclusions: changes leading to more (less) importance devoted to eco-controls within the organization contribute positively (negatively) to environmental performance; concerted changes on all aspects of the mix of eco-controls contribute more to environmental performance than piecemeal changes on specific aspects of the mix; and the aspect which contributes to environmental performance is not the scale of that change but the mere presence of a credible signal which reflects the seriousness of the intentions.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to management accounting change literature by breaking down the nature of change of management control practices in attributes (direction, scope and scale) and examining their specific impact on performance.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

We would like to acknowledge the useful contributions of the participants at the North American Congress on Social and Environmental Accounting Research (CSEAR), Conference of the Association de contrôle de gestion (ACG) and research workshops of the Research Group in Management of Université Nice Sophia Antipolis and School of Accounting of Université Laval. This research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada.

Citation

Henri, J.-F., Journeault, M. and Brousseau, C. (2017), "Eco-control change and environmental performance: a longitudinal perspective", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 13 No. 2, pp. 188-215. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAOC-04-2016-0023

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited