Difference in Degrees: CEO Characteristics and Firm Environmental Disclosure

Strategic Management Journal, Volume 35, Issue 5, Pages 712-722, 2014

22 Pages Posted: 7 Feb 2018 Last revised: 30 Jun 2019

See all articles by Ben W. Lewis

Ben W. Lewis

Brigham Young University

Judith Walls

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Glen Dowell

Cornell University - Johnson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: 2014

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Institutional Theory, Voluntary Disclosure, Environmental Performance, CEO Characteristics, Sustainability

Suggested Citation

Lewis, Ben W. and Walls, Judith and Dowell, Glen, Difference in Degrees: CEO Characteristics and Firm Environmental Disclosure (2014). Strategic Management Journal, Volume 35, Issue 5, Pages 712-722, 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2063838 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2063838

Ben W. Lewis (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University ( email )

565 TNRB
Provo, UT 84602
United States

Judith Walls

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) ( email )

S3 B2-A28 Nanyang Avenue
Singapore, 639798
Singapore

Glen Dowell

Cornell University - Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY 14853
United States

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