Environmental Responsibility in Micro-Enterprises: Exploring the Relationship between Disclosure and Practice
Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business
ISBN: 978-1-78190-254-7, eISBN: 978-1-78190-255-4
Publication date: 6 November 2012
Purpose – This paper examines the effects that voluntary environmental reporting has on specific environmental practices in micro businesses. In particular, praxis discontinuities between disclosure and behaviour are contrasted between disclosing and non-disclosing micro businesses, ceteris paribus, in a rural region of North West England.
Approach – Six businesses were interviewed and findings were interpreted using a lens derived from the concept of moral proximity (the belief that small businesses are embedded in local communities and therefore are more morally accountable for their actions).
Findings – Findings suggest that environmental reporting is primarily driven by coercive/regulatory forces, whereas environmental practice is driven more by economic/strategic forces. The degree of discontinuity between disclosure and behaviour can be correlated to moral proximity, and this is found to vary significantly by industry sector.
Implications – The study concludes that an increased level of environmental reporting is no guarantee of improved environmental practice due to the dislocation between the drivers of the two elements of praxis.
Value – The study provides empirical evidence of the impact of different external interventions that can help inform future policy development on small business environmental responsibility.
Parry, S.N. (2012), "Environmental Responsibility in Micro-Enterprises: Exploring the Relationship between Disclosure and Practice", Underwood, S., Blundel, R., Lyon, F. and Schaefer, A. (Ed.) Social and Sustainable Enterprise: Changing the Nature of Business (Contemporary Issues in Entrepreneurship Research, Vol. 2), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 97-117. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2040-7246(2012)0000002009
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited