France's new economic regulations: insights from institutional legitimacy theory
Chelli, Mohamed; Durocher, Sylvain; Richard, Jacques (2014), France's new economic regulations: insights from institutional legitimacy theory, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 27, 2, p. 283-316. 10.1108/AAAJ-07-2013-1415
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
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Dauphine Recherches en Management [DRM]
Abstract (EN)Purpose – The paper seeks to adopt an institutional view of legitimacy to examine how a sample of French companies reacted to the introduction of the “New Economic Regulations” in French law in 2001 requiring that publicly listed companies disclose environmental information.Design/methodology/approach – The approach used in the paper is both quantitative and qualitative. A content analysis of environmental disclosure provided in annual reports, environmental reports and web sites by 26 French companies listed in the CAC 40 is performed throughout the period 2001-2011.Findings – The findings of this study show a significant and enduring improvement in the quality and quantity of environmental disclosure from 2001 to 2011. Even in the absence of penalties for non-compliance, the NRE law stimulated a stark and positive lasting change in the way that French companies account for their environmental information. These findings are consistent with the institutional view of legitimacy theory whereby legislation provides corporate managers with a representation of relevant audiences' perceptions about social and environmental reporting, prompting them to comply with the law to ensure organizational legitimacy.Originality/value – Social and environmental reporting studies generally adopt a strategic view of legitimacy to examine how organizations use social and environmental reporting to respond strategically to legitimacy threats. This study provides early empirical evidence about the relevance of institutional legitimacy theory in explaining environmental reporting.
Subjects / KeywordsLegitimacy theory; Environmental disclosure; NRE law
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