Councils’ environment management system: an isomorphism inquiry

Corina Joseph (Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia)
Esmie Obrin Nichol (Department of Accounting and Finance, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia)
Lulu Jonathan (Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia)

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 1477-7835

Publication date: 24 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand how external and internal drivers influence the implementation of the environment management system by selected local councils in Malaysia from the institutional theory and national culture perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

This research used a multiple case study approach focusing on three selected Malaysian local councils. The data collection method included semi-structured interviews with officers directly involved in the environment management system implementation.

Findings

Organizations are more influenced by external rather than internal drivers in implementing the environment management system, and dominated by the normative pressure. This study offers insights into the effectiveness of the identified drivers in the environment management system implementation process, by relating to the type of conformance, either by “compliance” or “convergence.”

Research limitations/implications

This study demonstrates the effect of national culture on the isomorphic influences of the internal and external motivations by local councils to implement the environment management system, namely, large power distance, collectivism, short-term normative orientation, masculinity and uncertainty avoidance.

Practical implications

The outcomes can be useful to managers of local councils with responsibilities for environmental decision making.

Originality/value

Institutional theory and national culture values are used successfully to explain the implementation of the environment management system in the three selected Malaysian councils in this study, in line with the public sector reform agenda undertaken by the Malaysian Government.

Keywords

Citation

Joseph, C., Nichol, E. and Jonathan, L. (2019), "Councils’ environment management system: an isomorphism inquiry", Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEQ-01-2019-0011

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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