Drawing on legitimacy theory, we study the nexus between green communication and the implementation of green practices, and in particular, we focus on the determinants of their discrepancy. Based on a large sample of firms in 58 countries over a 19-year period, we employ an index to measure the discrepancy between green operations and the communicated practices, mapped to each firm's board structure. The results provide the first empirical evidence that larger, more gender-diverse, and more independent boards are associated with a preponderance of green communication over implementation. We interpret this imbalance as a strategy to participate in the public discourse to gain moral legitimacy. Conversely, CEO duality is associated with a discrepancy in the opposite direction, with firms focusing more on implementing green practices than talking about them, suggesting that these firms aim mainly at gaining pragmatic legitimacy from their stakeholders.

Talk or walk? The board of directors and firm environmental strategies

Taglialatela, Jonathan;Miroshnychenko, Ivan;Barontini, Roberto;Testa, Francesco
2023-01-01

Abstract

Drawing on legitimacy theory, we study the nexus between green communication and the implementation of green practices, and in particular, we focus on the determinants of their discrepancy. Based on a large sample of firms in 58 countries over a 19-year period, we employ an index to measure the discrepancy between green operations and the communicated practices, mapped to each firm's board structure. The results provide the first empirical evidence that larger, more gender-diverse, and more independent boards are associated with a preponderance of green communication over implementation. We interpret this imbalance as a strategy to participate in the public discourse to gain moral legitimacy. Conversely, CEO duality is associated with a discrepancy in the opposite direction, with firms focusing more on implementing green practices than talking about them, suggesting that these firms aim mainly at gaining pragmatic legitimacy from their stakeholders.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/562693
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