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The impact of symbolic and substantive actions on environmental legitimacy

Author

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  • Berrone, Pascual

    () (IESE Business School)

  • Gelabert, Liliana

    (Universidad Carlos III)

  • Fosfuri, Andrea

    (Universidad Carlos III)

Abstract

Drawing on institutional theory and insights from stakeholder theory and impression management, we empirically analyze the impact of both environmental symbolic polices (participation in voluntary environmental programs, green trademarks, environmental-dedicated board committees, environmental pay policies and community communication) and substantive actions (environmental patents and pollution prevention practices) on environmental legitimacy. We show that 1) symbolic actions have a weaker positive effect on legitimacy than substantive actions; 2) that the impact of symbolic actions is greater when they are combined with substantive actions, and 3) that this impact is only short-term while substantive actions have both short- and long-term effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Berrone, Pascual & Gelabert, Liliana & Fosfuri, Andrea, 2009. "The impact of symbolic and substantive actions on environmental legitimacy," IESE Research Papers D/778, IESE Business School.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebg:iesewp:d-0778
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Marian Siminica & Liviu Craciun & Adina Dinu, 2015. "The Impact of Corporate Sustainability Strategies on the Financial Performance of Romanian Companies in the Context of Green Marketing," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 17(40), pages 994-994, August.
    2. Itziar Castelló & Michael Etter & Finn Årup Nielsen, 2016. "Strategies of Legitimacy Through Social Media: The Networked Strategy," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 402-432, May.
    3. repec:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2807-x is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Mignon Halderen & Mamta Bhatt & Guido A. J. M. Berens & Tom J. Brown & Cees Riel, 2016. "Managing Impressions in the Face of Rising Stakeholder Pressures: Examining Oil Companies’ Shifting Stances in the Climate Change Debate," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 133(3), pages 567-582, February.
    5. Doris M. Merkl-Davies & Niamh M. Brennan, 2011. "A conceptual framework of impression management: new insights from psychology, sociology and critical perspectives," Accounting and Business Research, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 415-437.
    6. Timo Busch & Bryan T. Stinchfield & Matthew S. Wood, 2011. "A Triptych Inquiry: Rethinking Sustainability, Innovation, and Financial Performance," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 11-026/2/DSF 9, Tinbergen Institute.
    7. Palmer, Mark & Truong, Yann, 2017. "The Impact of Technological Green New Product Introductions on Firm Profitability," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 86-93.

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    Keywords

    environmental management; institutional theory; legitimacy; stakeholder management; symbolic management;

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