Scrutiny, Norms, and Selective Disclosure: A Global Study of Greenwashing
Under increased pressure to report environmental impacts, some firms selectively disclose relatively benign impacts, creating an impression of transparency while masking their true performance. We identify key company- and country-level factors that limit firms' use of selective disclosure by intensifying scrutiny on them and by diffusing global norms to their headquarters countries. We test our hypotheses using a novel panel dataset of 4,750 public companies across many industries and headquartered in 45 countries during 2004-2007. Results show that firms that are more environmentally damaging, particularly those in countries where they are more exposed to scrutiny and global norms, are less likely to engage in selective disclosure. We discuss contributions to the literature that spans institutional theory and strategic management and to the literature on information disclosure.
|Date of creation:||May 2011|
|Date of revision:||Jul 2015|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Soldiers Field, Boston, Massachusetts 02163|
Web page: http://www.hbs.edu/
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Gary K Meek & Clare B Roberts & Sidney J Gray, 1995. "Factors Influencing Voluntary Annual Report Disclosures By U.S., U.K. and Continental European Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 26(3), pages 555-572, September.
- Michael W. Toffel, 2008. "Coerced Confessions: Self-Policing in the Shadow of the Regulator," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 24(1), pages 45-71, May.
- Patten, Dennis M., 2002. "The relation between environmental performance and environmental disclosure: a research note," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(8), pages 763-773, November.
- Fischer, Justina A.V., 2008. "Is competition good for trust? Cross-country evidence using micro-data," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 56-59, July.
- Williams, Oliver F., 2004. "The UN Global Compact: The Challenge and the Promise," Business Ethics Quarterly, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 755-774, October.
- Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996.
"Law and Finance,"
NBER Working Papers
5661, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1996. "Law and Finance," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1768, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Rafael LaPorta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, "undated". "Law and Finance," Working Paper 19451, Harvard University OpenScholar.
- La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Richard M. Locke & Fei Qin & Alberto Brause, 2007. "Does Monitoring Improve Labor Standards? Lessons from Nike," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 61(1), pages 3-31, October.
- Neu, D. & Warsame, H. & Pedwell, K., 1998. "Managing public impressions: environmental disclosures in annual reports," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 265-282, April.
- Magali A. Delmas & Michael W. Toffel, 2010. "Institutional Pressures and Organizational Characteristics: Implications for Environmental Strategy," Harvard Business School Working Papers 11-050, Harvard Business School.
- Newson, Marc & Deegan, Craig, 2002. "Global expectations and their association with corporate social disclosure practices in Australia, Singapore, and South Korea," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-213.
- Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2006.
"Greenwash: Corporate Environmental Disclosure under Threat of Audit,"
2006-07, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
- Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2011. "Greenwash: Corporate Environmental Disclosure under Threat of Audit," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 20(1), pages 3-41, 03.
- Axel Dreher, 2005.
"Does Globalization Affect Growth? Evidence from a new Index of Globalization,"
TWI Research Paper Series
6, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universitï¿½t Konstanz.
- Axel Dreher, 2006. "Does globalization affect growth? Evidence from a new index of globalization," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(10), pages 1091-1110.
- Anil R. Doshi & Glen W.S. Dowell & Michael W. Toffel, 2011. "How Firms Respond to Mandatory Information Disclosure," Harvard Business School Working Papers 12-001, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2012.
- Sasser Erika N. & Prakash Aseem & Cashore Benjamin & Auld Graeme, 2006. "Direct Targeting as an NGO Political Strategy: Examining Private Authority Regimes in the Forestry Sector," Business and Politics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(3), pages 1-34, December.
- Tarun Khanna & Krishna G. Palepu & Suraj Srinivasan, 2004. "Disclosure Practices of Foreign Companies Interacting with U.S. Markets," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 475-508, 05.
- Leslie E. Papke & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1993.
"Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(k) Plan Participation Rates,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Papke, Leslie E & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M, 1996. "Econometric Methods for Fractional Response Variables with an Application to 401(K) Plan Participation Rates," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 11(6), pages 619-632, Nov.-Dec..
- Niklas Potrafke, 2009.
"Did globalization restrict partisan politics? An empirical evaluation of social expenditures in a panel of OECD countries,"
Springer, vol. 140(1), pages 105-124, July.
- Potrafke, Niklas, 2009. "Did globalization restrict partisan politics? An empirical evaluation of social expenditures in a panel of OECD countries," Munich Reprints in Economics 19286, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
- Michael J. Lenox & Charles E. Eesley, 2009. "Private Environmental Activism and the Selection and Response of Firm Targets," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 45-73, 03.
- Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
- Petra Christmann & Glen Taylor, 2001. "Globalization and the Environment: Determinants of Firm Self-Regulation in China," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 32(3), pages 439-458, September.
- Alberto Chong & Jorge Guillen & Alejandro Riano, 2010. "Political and institutional environment and privatization prices," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 142(1), pages 91-110, January.
- Erin Marie Reid & Michael W. Toffel, 2008. "Responding to Public and Private Politics: Corporate Disclosure of Climate Change Strategies," Harvard Business School Working Papers 09-019, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2009.
- Roberts, Robin W., 1992. "Determinants of corporate social responsibility disclosure: An application of stakeholder theory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 595-612, August.
- Sasser, Erika N. & Prakash, Aseem & Cashore, Benjamin & Auld, Graeme, 2006. "Direct Targeting as an NGO Political Strategy: Examining Private Authority Regimes in the Forestry Sector," Business and Politics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(03), pages 1-32, December.
- Ans Kolk & David Levy & Jonatan Pinkse, 2008. "Corporate Responses in an Emerging Climate Regime: The Institutionalization and Commensuration of Carbon Disclosure," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 17(4), pages 719-745.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:11-115. 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: (Soebagio Notosoehardjo)
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.