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Organizational hypocrisy: The case of environmental disclosure after major disasters


  • Charles Cho

    () (ESSEC Business School - Essec Business School)

  • Jonathan Maurice

    () (MRM - Montpellier Research in Management - UM1 - Université Montpellier 1 - UM3 - Université Paul-Valéry - Montpellier 3 - UM2 - Université Montpellier 2 - Sciences et Techniques - UPVD - Université de Perpignan Via Domitia - Groupe Sup de Co Montpellier (GSCM) - Montpellier Business School - UM - Université de Montpellier)

  • Emmanuelle Plot-Vicard

    (CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM])


The objective of this article is to analyze the disclosure of mandatory and voluntary information by a company after an environmental accident. The analysis is based on a case study of Total, a company that was affected in quick succession by two major environmental disasters - the 1999 Erika oil spill and the AZF factory explosion in Toulouse in 2001. Using the theory of organizational hypocrisy, the article demonstrates that Total uses double disclosure practices depending on the nature of the information disclosed after an environmental accident (i.e., voluntary or mandatory information). Total disclosed a very limited amount of mandatory information, while the voluntary information disclosed by the company was used as an instrument of legitimation.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Cho & Jonathan Maurice & Emmanuelle Plot-Vicard, 2011. "Organizational hypocrisy: The case of environmental disclosure after major disasters," Post-Print hal-00736248, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00736248
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server:

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