Difference in Degrees: CEO Characteristics and Firm Responses to Pressures for Disclosure
Ben W. Lewis
Brigham Young University
Nanyang Technological University (NTU)
Cornell University - Johnson Graduate School of Management
May 21, 2012
We contribute to the literature on firms' response to institutional pressures and environmental information disclosure. We hypothesize that CEO characteristics will influence firms' likelihood of acquiescing to pressures to disclose environmental information, and that acquiescence, in turn, will affect subsequent environmental performance. We test our hypotheses by examining firms' responses to the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and find that firms led by newly appointed CEOs and CEOs with MBA degrees are more likely to respond to the CDP while those led by lawyers are less likely to respond. We also find the interaction of acquiescence and CEO characteristics to be associated with subsequent improvement in greenhouse gas emissions. Our results have implications for research on strategic response to institutional pressures and corporate environmental performance.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 56
Keywords: Institutional Theory, Voluntary Disclosure, Environmental Performance, CEO Characteristics, Sustainability
Date posted: May 22, 2012
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