How Standard is Standardized MNC Global Environmental Communication?

Journal of Business Ethics 71 (2):135-147 (2007)
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In this paper, we develop an argument to show why we expect that multinational companies will ensure that they communicate credibly about their environmental responsibility, across all their subsidiaries. Credible environmental communication helps to increase the firm’s legitimacy and reduce its liability of foreignness on an issue that is globally relevant. We develop a measure to test if there is a standardized level of environmental communication credibility on the country-specific web sites of MNC subsidiaries around the world and find, in fact, that there is considerable variation across countries, among subsidiaries of different firms and among subsidiaries of the same multinational. We discuss the reasons for this and the implications for firm legitimacy.



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