Legitimation Strategies Used in Response to Environmental Disaster: A French Case Study of Total SA's Erika and AZF Incidents
This paper presents a case study examining the environmental disclosure decisions and practices of Total SA (hereafter, Total), one of the largest integrated oil and gas companies in the world. Because the company has a substantial international presence and operates in environmentally sensitive industries, management is constantly exposed to ethical and social issues. The company faced two major environment-related disasters: (1) the sinking of the Erika tanker, leading to a major oil spill along the Atlantic coast of Bretagne in 1999; and (2) the 2001 deadly explosion of the AZF chemical plant in the suburb of Toulouse, France. In this case study I aim at investigating the strategies employed by Total to defend and downplay its environmental performance and activities related to these incidents. The case is framed within legitimacy theory, originating from the notion of a 'social contract' between organizations and society. Findings generally indicate that Total used communication strategies to legitimate their actions and support the argument that social and environmental disclosures remain a powerful legitimacy device rather than an effort towards greater accountability.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 18 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/REAR20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/REAR20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:18:y:2009:i:1:p:33-62. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.