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The Relationship Between Corporate Governance And Environmental Disclosure: UK Evidence

ABURAYA, RANIA,KAMAL (2012) The Relationship Between Corporate Governance And Environmental Disclosure: UK Evidence. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The increasing global concern for the environment, the demand for increased stakeholder reporting, and the importance of sound corporate governance structures have triggered the need for more research into the value creation of environmental disclosure for stakeholders and its integration within corporate governance structures. The main objective of the current study is to empirically examine the relationship between corporate governance and each of the quantity and the quality of corporate environmental disclosures in the UK, while controlling for some corporate characteristics as well as an in-depth exploration of quality identification and assessment issues. In doing so, the study distinguishes between the different categories or areas of activity to which environmental disclosure relates as well as between the different types of environmental information content. Based on stakeholders-agency theory, the study argues that the quantity and quality of corporate environmental disclosure directed to various stakeholders are enhanced when managers' opportunism is monitored by corporate governance mechanisms, thereby, reducing the information gap or asymmetry.
Content analysis of a sample of UK companies' annual reports is undertaken to examine the quantity and quality of corporate environmental disclosure practices and their association with corporate governance mechanisms, over a period of four years. Hence, the annual reports of FTSE-All share companies are examined for years 2004-2007 inclusive. A checklist of environmental disclosure items and categories is developed and environmental disclosure indices are computed. The study suggests an extensive four-dimensional framework for assessing environmental disclosure quality. The metric developed attempts to capture the qualitative characteristics of information in a manner consistent with well-supported frameworks elaborated by professional accounting bodies and standard setting organizations.
Although corporate environmental disclosure quantity in UK companies' annual reports is relatively low, corporate environmental disclosure quality is comparatively high. Results also revealed a significant association between environmental disclosure quantity and, to a lesser extent, environmental disclosure quality and most corporate governance mechanisms. In addition, it appears that other corporate governance mechanisms are significant at some categorical levels of environmental disclosure. The major strength of the current study is its practical implications and its usefulness in providing data for further extensive environmental disclosure quality development. The comprehensive framework developed in this study for identifying and assessing environmental disclosure quality, is an initial step in the direction of examining environmental disclosure from the stakeholder perspective, negating the traditional belief of quantity representation of quality and shifting disclosure quality perspective from volumetric measurement to semantic assessment.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Environmental disclosure, Corporate governance, United Kingdom, Stakeholder-agency theory.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2012
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:27 Mar 2012 16:25

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