- It has been argued that we are at a tipping point with regard to climate change (find reference).
- Organisations are the principal source of carbon emissions (reference).
Organisations have the greatest potential for making the necessary changes to reduce carbon emissions (reference).
- Societal concern for the environment has escalated (reference)
- Government regulation regarding carbon emissions is increasing (regulation).
- Organisations are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their commitment to minimising their contribution to climate change to avoid further increases in regulation (reference).
- Previous legitimacy theory research has focussed on voluntary disclosure (e.g., reference)
- Conflicting research on whether firms are more likely to voluntarily disclose when their performance is good, or bad (reference).
- Previous research has not considered the targets (reference, or the fact that no references can be found).
Literature Review and Hypothesis Development
Base theory – Legitimacy Theory
o Social Contracts (reference)
o Legitimacy and responses (reference)
o Responses to legitimacy problem (reference)
- change attitudes about what is acceptable (set low targets)
- change behaviour and communicate the improved performance. Set challenging targets
- draw attention away from the poor performance by highlighting something else. Firms, or firms in industries,
facing a legitimacy crisis from some other cause use CDP disclosure to try to distract attention (consider Nike, Oil and Gas Industry…)Setting targets as a way to demonstrate commitment (reference if it can be found or create argument)
- Theoretical Constructs and operational proxies
o Voluntary Reduction Target (Dependent Variable)
Target disclosed in CDP
o Legitimacy problem or crisis (Independent Variable)
Environmentally damaging industries identified by (reference) or industries with high levels of carbon
o Societal Concern (moderating variable)
- Survey of concern about climate change score for the country in which the firm operates.
* Relationships between proxies
o When faced with a legitimacy problem organisations with good performance will seek to communicate that performance (set challenging targets). Firms with bad performance will seek to change attitudes about what is acceptable (set low target
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