The Impact of Symbolic and Substantive Actions on Environmental Legitimacy

30 Pages Posted: 25 Feb 2009

See all articles by Pascual Berrone

Pascual Berrone

IESE Business School - University of Navarra

Liliana Gelabert

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Andrea Fosfuri

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration

Date Written: January 1, 2009

Abstract

Drawing on institutional theory and insights from stakeholder theory and impression management, we empirically analyze the impact of both environmental symbolic polices (participation in voluntary environmental programs, green trademarks, environmental-dedicated board committees, environmental pay policies and community communication) and substantive actions (environmental patents and pollution prevention practices) on environmental legitimacy. We show that (1) symbolic actions have a weaker positive effect on legitimacy than substantive actions, (2) that the impact of symbolic actions is greater when they are combined with substantive actions, (3) that this impact is only short-term while substantive actions have both short- and long-term effects.

Keywords: environmental management, institutional theory, legitimacy, stakeholder management, symbolic management

Suggested Citation

Berrone, Pascual and Gelabert, Liliana and Fosfuri, Andrea, The Impact of Symbolic and Substantive Actions on Environmental Legitimacy (January 1, 2009). IESE Business School Working Paper No. 778. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1349063 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1349063

Pascual Berrone (Contact Author)

IESE Business School - University of Navarra ( email )

Avenida Pearson 21
Barcelona, 08034
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://wwwapp.iese.edu/faculty/facultyDetail_dev.asp?lang=es&prof=pb

Liliana Gelabert

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

Andrea Fosfuri

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Calle Madrid 126
Getafe, Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

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