First, the paper examines the extent of environmental disclosures (EDs) made by the Malaysian local governments (LGs) on their websites. Second, it examines the patterns…
First, the paper examines the extent of environmental disclosures (EDs) made by the Malaysian local governments (LGs) on their websites. Second, it examines the patterns of disclosure with the aim of investigating the underlying motive behind the EDs.
A descriptive content analysis was employed to measure the EDs. A disclosure instrument, based on the extant studies, is designed to facilitate the measurement process.
The results suggest that LGs of various levels, have taken the initiative to report EDs on their websites even in the absence of any statutory reporting regulations either by the state or federal government. Differences in the types of EDs are also apparent and consistent with the premise of legitimacy theory.
A paucity of prior studies measuring EDs made at the LG level is observed in the literature. Research evidence focussing on the EDs reported on the websites is even more scarce. This lack of research contributes to a limited understanding on the development and challenges of the environmental reporting practices within the developing country's perspective. Moreover, generalising the findings of studies conducted in developed countries may not be possible due to a number of regulatory, political and socio-economic factors.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the environmental reporting (ER) practices of the local governments (LGs) in Malaysia. Specifically, it examines the driving…
The purpose of this paper is to examine the environmental reporting (ER) practices of the local governments (LGs) in Malaysia. Specifically, it examines the driving motives for ER and also the underlying reasons for lack of disclosures in an array of reporting media.
A self-administered survey is conducted to all LGs in Peninsular Malaysia. The items in the questionnaire are based on the prior literature on social and environmental disclosures made by the public sector organisations (PSOs).
The results suggest that maintaining and/or improving the legitimacy status is the main driving motive for LGs to provide environmental disclosures in the absence of any regulatory requirements. On the other hand, a lack of skilled staff to handle ER is the primary reason contributing to the lack of environmental information being supplied to stakeholders.
The paper represents one of the few attempts made in examining the ER practices of the LGs within the perspective of a developing country. Insufficient research on this aspect contributes to a limited understanding on the development of ER practices in different economic stage and environment. The findings may be of interest to the relevant authorities in any policy changes that can further improve the extent and quality of environmental disclosures made by the LGs.