Strategy

Understanding the impact of symbolic and substantive environmental actions on organizational reputation

Print Share
Research in corporate environmental practices has shown that stakeholders impose coercive and normative forces that drive firms to perform environmental protection actions. However, limited attention has been placed on how different constituents of stakeholders value the firm's environmental actions. By focusing on industry peers as a constituent of stakeholders, we examine how the firm's environmental actions impact its reputation. Based on institutional theory and signaling theory we propose that symbolic environmental actions negatively affect reputation, whereas substantive actions improve firm's reputation among its peers. Building on the notion of signaling process, the authors also observe that a firm's reporting practices moderate positively the negative effect of symbolic actions. Data from a sample of 213 publicly traded firms operating in polluting industries from 2006 to 2013 support these results. The findings emphasize the danger of using symbolic actions to signal environmental commitment in a context of high-involvement information search and opportunistic behaviors.
Bibliographic citation: TRUONG, Y., MAZLOOMI, H., BERRONE, P. (2021). Understanding the impact of symbolic and substantive environmental actions on organizational reputation. Industrial Marketing Management, 92, 307-320. doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2020.05.006.

Reference: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2020.05.006 (DOI)
Date: 01/01/2021
Author(s): Yann Truong; Hamid Mazloomi; Pascual Berrone
Document type: Article in Journal (refereed)
Department: Strategic Management
Sector:
Languages: English