The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether the introduction of water security, in 2015, as a category in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) Climate A-List, increases the use of impression management (IM) strategies. The purpose is to analyze how companies reacted to programmes of voluntary disclosure of environmental information.
Mixed-methods research was developed, combining a qualitative and quantitative approach. This study first used a qualitative content analysis of 15 companies’ reports, from the materials sector, which was scored in the CDP Climate A-List, in 2017, to identify the IM strategies adopted. Next, this study conducted a quantitative analysis to test the mean differences of water references between years, industry and region.
Three types of IM strategies are identified (justification and commitment, self-promotion and authorization). The references identified as self-promotion strategy increased in 2016. This indicates companies reacted to the programmes for voluntary disclosure of environmental information by increasing strategies of legitimization and image promotion.
Further research can be developed, focusing only on sustainability reports and extending the number of companies, the period and sectors under analysis.
This paper shows how the inclusion of a topic such as water security in an environmental ranking of companies, namely, CDP A-List, affects the use of IM strategies in voluntary disclosures.
Ana Fialho gratefully acknowledges financial support from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (grant UIDB/04007/2020).
Ana Morais gratefully acknowledges financial support from FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (Portugal), national funding through research grant UIDB/04521/2020.
Fialho, A., Morais, A. and Costa, R.P. (2021), "Impression management strategies and water disclosures – the case of CDP A-list", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 29 No. 3, pp. 568-585. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-08-2019-0542
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