A Cross-Sectoral Analysis of Environmental Disclosures in a Legitimacy Theory Context

Nihal Kartaltepe Behram


The purpose of this study is to extend organizational legitimacy arguments by analyzing the extent and content of environmental disclosures across sectors according to their environmental impact. For this purpose, the industrial sectors were sorted into three groups as high impact sectors, medium impact sectors and low impact sectors. In the legitimacy theory context, business in high impact industry sectors would be expected to give more attention and importance to environmental disclosures than business in medium and low impact industry sectors. In this context four testable dimensions of environmental disclosure were systematically analyzed and compared in this study: presence of environmental disclosure; presentation of environmental disclosure; location of environmental disclosure; environmental disclosure items. The sample of this study consisted of 223 companies quoted on Istanbul Stock Exchange. In order to carry out a cross-sectoral analysis of environmental disclosures, data were collected from annual reports and analyzed using content analysis. The results of this study fail to confirm legitimacy theory as an explicator of environmental disclosure in the Turkey case. The sample companies operating in medium impact sectors have a higher tendency to disclose environmental information and to provide a stand-alone environmental report and separate environmental section in their annual reports than companies in high and low impact sectors in Turkey.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5539/jms.v5n1p20

Journal of Management and Sustainability   ISSN 1925-4725 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4733 (Online)


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