Managing social and environmental accountability: An impression management perspective

dc.contributor.authorMartins, Adelaide
dc.contributor.authorGomes, Delfina
dc.description.abstractCorporate social behavior has become an important feature of business society. Organizations face the challenge to meet stakeholders’ expectations, but also to report information on social and environmental issues. Research has discussed the role of the social corporate reporting in giving incremental information to stakeholders. The demand from the institutional environment for organizations to be accountable for their social and environmental actions may lead organizations to adopt impression management tactics to manage perceptions and provide accounts demonstrating that they are good corporate citizens. Although organizations have increased their corporate social reporting, the quality and reliability of those reports have been questioned requiring the reinforcement of governance mechanisms. The literature suggests that these disclosures tend to be selective and biased and, thus, do not enhance corporate accountability. Drawing on accounting literature this study proposes a formal conceptual framework to systematize what is suggested by the literature by linking organizational impression management and social accountability. Corporate social reporting seems more reflective of impression management rather than of the release of functional accountability. Such practices appear to be motived by the quest of social legitimacy and the improvement of organizational image and the desire to obfuscate a negative performance. The findings of this study are of societal and ethical concern as impression management behavior may undermine the transparency of social and environmental reporting. To some extent, these insights also point at the complexities for organizations in dealing with accountability to all stakeholders. The formal conceptual framework proposed is useful for future studies aiming at understanding how organizations use impression management on their corporate social reporting in the accountability process. In this vein, we bridge the gap between organizational legitimacy, impression management, and social accountability.pt_PT
dc.identifier.citationMartins, A., & Gomes, D. (2019). Managing social and environmental accountability: An impression management perspective. In Mesquita, A., & Silva, P. (Eds.), Book of Proceedings of the 15th European Conference on Management, Leadership and Governance, Porto, Portugal, 14-15 November 2019 (pp. 281-288). doi: 10.34190/MLG.19.069. Disponível no Repositório UPT,
dc.rightsopen accesspt_PT
dc.subjectCorporate reportingpt_PT
dc.subjectCorporate social responsibilitypt_PT
dc.subjectImpression managementpt_PT
dc.titleManaging social and environmental accountability: An impression management perspectivept_PT
degois.publication.locationPorto, Portugalpt_PT
degois.publication.titleEuropean Conference on Management, Leadership and Governancept_PT
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