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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Arzu Ilsev and Eren Miski Aydin

Hypocrisy is a widely recognized concept in both academic literature and popular media. However, very few studies have examined the reflections of hypocrisy in leader's…

Abstract

Hypocrisy is a widely recognized concept in both academic literature and popular media. However, very few studies have examined the reflections of hypocrisy in leader's behaviors in organizational behavior literature. Leader hypocrisy mainly refers to the misalignment between words and deeds of a leader. This chapter first provides a review of the concept of hypocrisy and its various conceptualizations in philosophy, social psychology, and organizational behavior literatures. The chapter then focuses on the implications of leader hypocrisy for organizations and its members by presenting the studies conducted on the emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral consequences of leader hypocrisy (word–deed misalignment) and leader behavioral integrity (word–deed alignment). Moreover, some of the gaps in the literature are identified, and suggestions are made for future research on the topic.

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Destructive Leadership and Management Hypocrisy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-180-5

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Article
Publication date: 18 February 2019

Johanna Jauernig and Vladislav Valentinov

The theoretical understanding of CSR is caught on the horns of the dilemma between the ethical and instrumental approaches. The strategic turn in CSR has brought the…

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1761

Abstract

Purpose

The theoretical understanding of CSR is caught on the horns of the dilemma between the ethical and instrumental approaches. The strategic turn in CSR has brought the dilemma to a new head. The purpose of this paper is to develop a novel argumentative strategy to address the dilemma.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper weaves together the insights from the literatures on sociological institutionalism, organization theory, business ethics and institutional economics to elaborate the distinction between CSR communication and CSR action that is actually undertaken and visible to stakeholders. This distinction is at the core of the “hypocrisy avoidance” approach which puts the above dilemma in a new light.

Findings

According to the “hypocrisy avoidance” approach, the CSR communication constitutes a competitive arena where corporations are looking for reputational gains. Competitive pressures give rise to an inflationary dynamics of the CSR communication which consequently runs up against credibility problems. These problems are addressed by the real CSR policies which legitimate the corporate employment of the CSR communication as an instrument of competition.

Practical implications

The theoretical dilemma between the ethical and instrumental approaches manifests itself in the justification of skepticism toward CSR communication. This skepticism, which may be to the detriment of a corporation’s license to operate, may turn out to be a driving force of CSR action.

Social implications

Despite the charges of corporate hypocrisy, CSR communication may play a role in the alleviation of business-society tensions. This role is however subject to two limitations. First, if CSR communication is used as instrument of competition, it is unlikely to translate into CSR action perfectly. Second, corporations would likely prioritize more visible CSR actions over less visible ones.

Originality/value

The novel implication of the “hypocrisy avoidance” approach is that CSR actions present credible commitments or “hostages” enabling the productive interaction between corporations and their stakeholders. This implication integrates some of the components of the ethical and instrumental approaches, while drawing inspiration from the institutional economics and institutional ethics literatures.

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Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2018

Warren Maroun, Kieran Usher and Hafsa Mansoor

This study aims to examine biodiversity reporting by South African food producers and retailers. It not only draws attention to the disconnect between reporting on an…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine biodiversity reporting by South African food producers and retailers. It not only draws attention to the disconnect between reporting on an important environmental issue and the sense of commitment to environmental responsibility, but also shows that over time, organisations are becoming more proactive about biodiversity reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a content analysis of sustainability and integrated reports and organised hypocrisy as a theoretical framework for analysing biodiversity-related disclosures.

Findings

Consistent with an organised hypocrisy framework, the research finds that the several companies rely on corporate reporting to emphasise actions and internal management strategies that are already producing favourable results. In contrast, mission statements, firm policy commitments and forward-looking analysis are avoided. There is, however, evidence to suggest that the gaps between corporate reporting and action may be giving companies the time to reform their practices, align biodiversity disclosures with genuine corporate action and move towards truly integrated business models.

Research limitations/implications

Poor biodiversity reporting raises questions about the extent to which companies are managing serious environmental issues that can have a direct impact on their business models. Improvements in biodiversity reporting also suggest that corporate reporting is maturing and that some organisations are beginning to understand the need for managing their biodiversity impact.

Originality/value

The paper offers empirical evidence on how the disconnect between organisational rhetoric and action is used to manage stakeholder expectations and negate the need for environmental reforms. In this manner, organised hypocrisy is framed as a specific legitimisation strategy. The research also shows that organised hypocrisy is not absolute; despite the opportunity to engage in organised hypocrisy, some companies are taking a more proactive approach to biodiversity reporting. As a result, it may be appropriate to see organised hypocrisy as part of a transition to higher quality integrated or sustainability reporting.

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Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 23 July 2021

Marco Bellucci, Diletta Acuti, Lorenzo Simoni and Giacomo Manetti

This study contributes to the literature on hypocrisy in corporate social responsibility by investigating how organizations adapt their nonfinancial disclosure after a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study contributes to the literature on hypocrisy in corporate social responsibility by investigating how organizations adapt their nonfinancial disclosure after a social, environmental or governance scandal.

Design/methodology/approach

The present research employs content analysis of nonfinancial disclosures by 11 organizations during a 3-year timespan to investigate how they responded to major scandals in terms of social, environmental and sustainability reporting and a content analysis of independent counter accounts to detect the presence of views that contrast with the corporate disclosure and suggest hypocritical behaviors.

Findings

Four patterns in the adaptation of reporting – genuine, allusive, evasive, indifferent – emerge from information collected on scandals and socially responsible actions. The type of scandal and cultural factors can influence the response to a scandal, as environmental and social scandal can attract more scrutiny than financial scandals. Companies exposed to environmental and social scandals are more likely to disclose information about the scandal and receive more coverage by external parties in the form of counter accounts.

Originality/value

Using a theoretical framework based on legitimacy theory and organizational hypocrisy, the present research contributes to the investigation of the adaptation of reporting when a scandal occurs and during its aftermath.

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Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 11 May 2015

Gian-Claudio Gentile, Ralf Wetzel and Patricia Wolf

Companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities tend to be regarded with suspicion: Taking managerial decision about engaging in CSR or communicating, this…

Abstract

Purpose

Companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities tend to be regarded with suspicion: Taking managerial decision about engaging in CSR or communicating, this decision does not constitute the actual execution of this decision itself. A gulf can exist between deciding, speaking and doing. In fact, this gap between speaking and doing has longed fuelled the discussion about the risks, benefits and pitfalls of CSR, mainly for one reason: It remains unknown what happens to CSR concepts when they are transformed from formal decisions at the top of the hierarchy to concrete action in the rest of the organization. This paper explores this internal transformation process by combining the macro- and micro-levels of observation.

Design/methodology/approach

From a macro-perspective, the authors use Nils Brunsson’s notion of organizational hypocrisy to elucidate the societal conditions of the intraorganizational enforcement of CSR. Second, the authors combine this framework with Karl Weick’s organizational sensemaking approach to understand better how employee generate meaning and actions from contradictory expectations on the micro-level of the organization. By combining these two streams of theory, the authors provide a clear understanding of the internal sensemaking mechanisms brought about by contradicting societal norms. This approach and its usefulness is illustrated by means of an empirical case study.

Findings

The paper illustrates the characteristics of the unavoidable difference between organizational talk and action, the contradictions employees face on the shop floor when executing CSR and the challenges CSR execution has to overcome.

Research limitations/implications

Given the combination of theoretical and empirical reflection, the paper remains explorative.

Practical implications

The moral dilemmas of employees become much clearer, as much as the organizational hypocrisy which CSR drives companies into. That can help managers to better deal with employees’ and the public’s reaction to own CSR efforts.

Originality/value

Combining Nils Brunsson (hypocrisy) with Karl Weick (sensemaking) in the context of CSR has not been undertaken. Accordingly, the insights are unique.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

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Article
Publication date: 7 March 2016

Giovanna Michelon, Silvia Pilonato, Federica Ricceri and Robin W Roberts

The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it examines nuances that specific camouflaging perspectives provide to enhance traditional and widely adopted theories in…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is threefold. First, it examines nuances that specific camouflaging perspectives provide to enhance traditional and widely adopted theories in social and environmental accounting. Second, within research on camouflaging, the paper stimulates multidisciplinarity and cross-fertilization by presenting recent developments in organizational theory that hold promise for enhancing our understanding of camouflaging. Finally, it discusses how the research contributions published in this special issue help advance the notion of corporate camouflaging.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper makes use of an extensive literature review and discusses research implications related with the choice of theoretical framework.

Findings

The idea of camouflaging may provide narrower and more refined perspective(s) that can help researchers delve deeper into their topic of interest and thereby support potentially substantive contributions to the field.

Originality/value

The paper offers suggestions for future social and environmental accounting research that adopts the concepts of organized hypocrisy, organizational façades and functional stupidity into the study of organizations.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2020

Monika Łada, Alina Kozarkiewicz and Jim Haslam

This article explores the influence of duality in institutional logics on internal accounting, with a focus on a Polish public university. More particularly, we answer the…

Abstract

Purpose

This article explores the influence of duality in institutional logics on internal accounting, with a focus on a Polish public university. More particularly, we answer the research question: how does illegitimacy risk arising from the divergent pressures of the institutional environment impact management accountings in this institution?

Design/methodology/approach

This paper seeks to uncover intricacies of notions of internal legitimacy façade, decoupling and counter-coupling in practice. It explores details of organizational responses involving management accounting aimed at reducing illegitimacy risk. Achieving good organizational access, the authors adopt a qualitative case study approach involving contextual appreciation/document analysis/participant observation/discussion with key actors: facilitating building upon theoretical argumentation through finding things out from the field.

Findings

The authors uncover and discuss organizational solutions and legitimizing manoeuvres applied, identifying four adaptation tactics in the struggle to support legitimacy that they term ‘ceremonial calculations’, ‘legitimacy labelling’, ‘blackboxing’ and ‘shadow management accounting’. These can be seen in relation to decoupling and counter-coupling. Ceremonial calculations supported the internal façade. Shadow management accounting supported pro-effectiveness. Legitimacy labelling and blackboxing helped bind these two organizational layers, further supporting legitimacy. In interaction the four tactics engendered what can be seen as a ‘counter-coupling’ of management accounting. The authors clarify impacts for management accounting.

Research limits/implications

The usual limitations of case research apply for generalizability. Theorizing of management accounting in relation to contradictory logics is advanced.

Practical implications

The article illuminates how management accounting can be understood vis-à-vis contradictory logics.

Originality value

Elaboration of the tactics and their interaction is a theoretical and empirical contribution. Focus on a Polish university constitutes an empirical contribution.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 5 December 2018

Federica Casonato, Federica Farneti and John Dumay

To present the continuation of a case study by Beck et al. (2017) on an Australian bank (CBD) during the period 2004–2013 by examining whether integrated reporting affects…

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1017

Abstract

Purpose

To present the continuation of a case study by Beck et al. (2017) on an Australian bank (CBD) during the period 2004–2013 by examining whether integrated reporting affects relational capital and helps to repair an organisations’ reputation. Both studies examine how a bank rocked by a major scandal in 2004 has attempted to repair its legitimacy through integrated reporting (<IR>). The paper aims to discuss these issue.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is a post facto analysis based on the original research from Beck et al. (2017). The research process involved a case study approach with an analysis framed by impression management theory to investigate whether the information in CBD’s integrated reports is consistent with other information available to investors.

Findings

The authors find there is a gap between what CBD discloses in its integrated reports and what is publicly available in other media. CBD’s talk and actions are not aligned, and that asymmetry translates into a decline of trust in CBD. The bank’s integrated reports reveal how management discloses or withholds information to protect their own interests and at their own discretion. These conclusions indicate that the integrated reporting paradigm is being co-opted by IM strategies to improve legitimacy through trust, reputation and social capital.

Research limitations/implications

Future research needs to reach beyond the organisational boundaries and understand if <IR> adds value for society, or is just a new form of multicapitalism, being an ideology to help the rich become richer? The answers are important if we ever hope to see misconduct disappear from our corporations and for company reports to become documents bearing truth and not espouse rhetoric based on organisational hypocrisy.

Originality/value

The paper adds to the growing body of research investigating <IR> in practice to understand the impact of <IR> and whether it is a new and useful reporting tool or just another management fashion.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2021

Hongdan Zhao and Weiwei Liu

This paper aims to investigate a new predictor of knowledge hiding, namely, employee perceptions of corporate hypocrisy (PCH). Based on the social cognitive theory, this…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate a new predictor of knowledge hiding, namely, employee perceptions of corporate hypocrisy (PCH). Based on the social cognitive theory, this study constructs a moderated mediation model linking PCH and knowledge hiding. The theoretical model concentrates on the mediating role of moral identity and the moderating role of organization-based self-esteem (OBSE).

Design/methodology/approach

Two studies with different samples and designs were used. In Study 1, the experimental method explored whether PCH could elicit knowledge hiding under the condition of OBSE (H1 and H4). Study 2, an empirical method with three stages, tested the full mediated moderation model by adding to the mediating role of moral identity (H1–H4).

Findings

The results showed: PCH was positively related to knowledge hiding, moral identity mediated the influence of PCH on knowledge hiding and OBSE not only moderated the relationship between PCH and moral identity but also moderated the indirect effect of PCH on knowledge hiding (via moral identity). The present research sheds valuable light on the processes (how) and contingencies (when) whereby PCH affects knowledge hiding for the first time, thus extending prior research and encouraging further explorations on the topic of PCH and knowledge hiding. It informs practitioners that taking measures to decrease corporate hypocrisy plays a vital role in preventing workers from hiding knowledge.

Originality/value

The study’s distinctive contribution is to examine the mediating effect of moral identity and the moderating role of OBSE on the relationship between corporate hypocrisy and knowledge hiding, which through the lens of social cognitive theory. Thus, it furthers a deeper understanding of knowledge hiding and helps the organization understand the dynamics of knowledge management, such as prohibiting employee counterproductive behaviors in the workplace.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 November 2018

Albert Anton Traxler and Dorothea Greiling

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the status quo of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)-based sustainable public value (SPV) reporting by electric utilities…

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2636

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the status quo of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)-based sustainable public value (SPV) reporting by electric utilities. Furthermore, the study attempts to find out whether a stock exchange listing and/or a public ownership are positively associated with electric utilities’ reporting regarding their contributions to a sustainable development (SD) or not.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical analysis of sustainability reports published by electric utilities from 28 different countries all over the world is carried out. The investigation is based on a documentary analysis of 83 GRI G4 reports.

Findings

The findings show that electric utilities’ coverage of GRI indicators of the electric utilities sector disclosures varies between, as well as within, the different categories of the GRI guidelines and that the coverage of sector-specific indicators is often lacking behind the general coverage rates. Furthermore, the study reveals that a stock exchange listing is positively associated with electric utilities’ GRI-based SPV reporting. In contrast, public ownership does not show a significant association.

Originality/value

Electric utilities have a significant influence on SD. They operate in a regulated environment that is targeted at utilizing electric utilities for economic and environmental public policy objectives. Against that background, the study discusses which issues of SPV creation are reported by electric utilities that use the GRI guidelines and therefore brings together the public value (PV) and the sustainability community.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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