This paper identifies three conceptually distinct, but interrelated concepts regarding corporate environmental
behaviour from the literature e environmental legitimacy, environmental accountability, and
environmental proactivity e and shows how they can be integrated into a single framework. This is done
in a context where prior studies in the literature do not relate these concepts to each other or place the
concepts within a meaningful context, nor integrate them into a single framework. The framework
demonstrates an organisational journey towards achieving legitimacy in environmental endeavours.
Environmental legitimacy is conditional upon the public evaluation of corporate environmental performance
and environmental reporting (environmental accountability), which in turn, requires organisations
to invest in environmental management and accounting systems and stakeholder engagement
(environmental proactivity). The paper identifies company, stakeholder and other characteristics that
influence the constructs in the framework and also propose a research agenda based on this framework.
Environmental performance constitutes the central concept in the framework, acknowledging that
improved environmental performance promotes the ultimate goal of sustainability. The framework
suggests that the judicious management of environmental performance and reporting, the two components
of environmental accountability, results in environmental legitimacy. Furthermore, environmental
accountability can be enhanced by environmental proactivity, a concept comprising
environmental management and environmental accounting, as well as stakeholder engagement. This
synthesis of the factors that influence and contribute to environmental performance is the framework's
The study provides a comprehensive overview of contemporary sustainability accounting research, comprising 1,283 academic articles published in 54 journals (2014–2020). Sustainability disclosure is the most frequently ...
De Villiers, Charl Johannes; Molinari, Matteo(Emerald, 2022-01)
PURPOSE : The purpose of this paper is to understand how communication strategies and the use of numbers can ensure the buy-in and cooperation of stakeholders.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : Drawing on legitimacy theory, ...
De Beer, P.J. (Patrick James); Friend, Francois(Elsevier, 2006)
Industries are becoming progressively more aware of the environmental and social liabilities pertaining to their operations and products, with associated financial effects. Uncertainties in measuring these financial effects ...