کنترل زیست محیطی: تاثیر سیستم های کنترل مدیریت بر عملکرد زیست محیطی و اقتصادی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|16625||2010||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Accounting, Organizations and Society, Volume 35, Issue 1, January 2010, Pages 63–80
Eco-control is the application of financial and strategic control methods to environmental management. In this study, we investigate to what extent eco-control influences environmental and economic performance. Using survey-data from a sample of Canadian manufacturing firms, the results suggest that eco-control has no direct effect on economic performance. A mediating effect of environmental performance on the link between eco-control and economic performance is observed in different contexts. More specifically, eco-control indirectly influences economic performance in the context of (i) higher environmental exposure, (ii) higher public visibility, (iii) higher environmental concern, and (iv) larger size. This study contributes to the management accounting literature by providing insight into the roles and contributions of management accounting in the context of sustainable development.
Over the past centuries, industrial development has brought immeasurable wealth and prosperity while also causing unintended ecological degradation such as global warming, ozone depletion, deforestation and desertification, declining biodiversity, and toxic waste (Shrivastava, 1995). Although organizations play a major role in causing and potentially controlling ecological problems, they could also benefit from cost reductions through ecological efficiencies, the development of green markets and first-mover advantage, better community relations, and improved image (Hart, 1995, Porter and van der Linde, 1995 and Shrivastava, 1995). Environmental management accounting (EMA) helps firms work to attain those potential benefits and to face their environmental responsibilities (Schaltegger & Burritt, 2000).1 As part of EMA, eco-control is the application of financial and strategic control methods to environmental management (Schaltegger & Burritt, 2000). As a specific application of management control systems (MCS), eco-control has attracted growing attention in recent years as a means of driving an environmental strategy throughout the firm. Eco-control helps organizations to measure, control and disclose their environmental performance. They are used to supply information for decision-making to ensure the attainment of environmental objectives and to provide persuasive evidence supporting the benefits of such actions. Various streams of research have examined environmental accounting in the accounting and environmental management literatures. In particular, an extensive body of research has examined environmental disclosure and reporting practices (e.g., Al-Tuwaijri et al., 2004, Clarkson et al., 2008, Deegan and Blomquist, 2006, Gray et al., 2001, Lehman, 1999 and Neu et al., 1998).2 While some research has defined the concept of environmental management accounting and has reported current practices (e.g., Bartolomeo et al., 2000, Bennett and James, 2000, Burritt, 2004 and IFAC, 2005), other studies have examined the role of accounting/accountants in environmental management (e.g., Bebbington et al., 1994, Gray, 1992 and Wilmshurst and Frost, 2001) and issues related to environmental cost accounting (e.g., Antheaume, 2004, Gluch and Baumann, 2004 and Herbohn, 2005). However, the notion of eco-control has not been investigated extensively. Most of the research related to eco-control is descriptive or prescriptive (e.g., Bennett and James, 1999, Burritt and Schaltegger, 2001, Eckel et al., 1992, Epstein, 1996a, Epstein, 1996b, Epstein and Birchard, 2000 and Figge et al., 2002). While contributing to the further development of tools, this literature is often based on a limited number of case studies and suffers from a lack of empirical evidence (Bouma and VanderVeen, 2002 and Burritt, 2004). Recent studies have however attempted to address this gap by exploring empirically some aspects of eco-control. For instance, Sharma (2000) examined the integration of environmental performance criteria in employee performance evaluation, but did not find a link with managerial interpretation. In a contingency setting, Pondeville and De Rongé (2005) found that the perceived ecological environmental uncertainty and environmental stakeholders’ pressures have a positive influence on the use of formal environmental control systems, but no such link was found with environmental strategy. Similarly, Perego and Hartmann (2005) observed that the relationship between environmental strategy and the use of environmental performance measurement systems is not direct but mediated by some attributes of the environmental management accounting systems sophistication and properties of the measurement systems. Not only have the issues related to eco-control been overlooked in past research, but there is also a lack of empirical evidence supporting their impact on environmental and economic performance. While various studies have documented the influence of environmental management3 on environmental or economic performance (e.g., Christmann, 2000, Melnyk et al., 2003 and Roy et al., 2001), other studies have examined the relationship between environmental and economic performance (e.g., Al-Tuwaijri et al., 2004, Burnett and Hansen, 2008, McWilliam and Siegel, 2000, Russo and Fouts, 1997 and Wagner and Schaltegger, 2004). Those studies have resulted in different findings: positive impact, negative impact or no effect. However, few empirical studies have tested the influence of eco-control on environmental and economic performance. Notable exception includes the work of Judge and Douglas, 1998 and Wisner et al., 2006 that find positive relationships between environmental strategic planning, and environmental and economic performance. Also, Epstein and Wisner (2005) observed that environmental compliance is positively influenced by various eco-controls, including plans and procedures, belief systems, measurement systems, and reward systems. However, Lanen (1999) does not find any association between the incentives to monitor plant performance and waste ratio. In sum, because this stream of research is hindered by insufficient empirical evidence and unexplored topics, the findings about eco-control remain fragmented and disparate. At the same time, a rich body of literature has examined the link between MCS and economic performance (Luft & Shields, 2007), but not environmental performance. Hence, there is a need to further investigate eco-control, as a specific application of MCS, and its impact within the organizations in order to contribute to the management accounting and EMA literatures. Using survey-data from a large sample of manufacturing firms, this study examines to what extent eco-control influences environmental and economic performance. More specifically, it uses a mediation model to investigate the direct effect of eco-control on economic performance, as well as the indirect effect through environmental performance. The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. The next section defines the main constructs, describes the conceptual framework, and presents our hypotheses. The following section presents the methodology, including a sample definition, data collection and measurement of constructs. We next describe the results of our analyses followed by a discussion and the conclusion of this study.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The aim of this study was to examine the influence of the integration of environmental matters within manage- ment control systems on environmental and economic performance. More specifically, it uses a mediation model to investigate the direct effect of eco-control on economic performance, as well as the indirect effect through envi- ronmental performance. Overall, eco-control has no direct effect on economic performance. A mediating effect of environmental performance on the link between eco-con- trol and economic performance is observed in different contexts. More specifically, eco-control has an indirect influence on economic performance in the context of (i) higher environmental exposure, (ii) higher public visibil- ity, (iii) higher environmental concern, and (iv) larger size. A number of theoretical contributions and practical implications can be derived from our results. From a theo- retical standpoint, this paper contributes to the manage- ment accounting and environmental management literatures by providing insight into the roles and contribu- tions of management accounting in a context of sustain- able development. It consolidates the role of accounting in a context of sustainable development as a tool fostering transparency and accountability ( Gray, 1992 ). As sug- gested by Mathews (1997, p. 481) , environmental account- ing, as a field of study, ‘‘must lead to action and change in the relationship between business, the stakeholders which make up society and the environment which we need to support us all”. Furthermore, this study presents a holistic view of environmental performance by integrating not only one aspect of the construct but four aspects, namely process and product improvements, stakeholder relations, regulatory compliance and financial impact, as well as environmental impact and corporate image. Lastly, it con- tributes to the MCS literature by providing evidence that the link between control systems and economic perfor- mance is not necessarily direct. It may occur via other lev-els of performance or specific organizational actions or initiatives. Although numerous studies have addressed issues re- lated to environmental disclosure and reporting, little is known about other dimensions of environmental account- ing, especially eco-control. As observed by Burritt (2004) , empirical research in environmental management accounting is scarce and is focused more on describing than on analyzing or critically evaluating the effectiveness of tools. Thus, this paper contributes to the current litera- ture by providing empirical data shedding some light on the current practices and application of eco-control in manufacturing firms. Our results also reflect the impor- tance of integrating the environmental dimension into MCS to increase environmental and economic performance. This study also has important implications for manage- ment practices. Considering the economic performance resulting from improvements in environmental perfor- mance, managers should be aware of the importance of integrating environmental matters into the existing man- agement control systems. More specifically, there are many ways to integrate environmental issues into the con- trol systems: (i) developing specific performance indica- tors (e.g., inputs of energy, outputs of solid waste, financial impact, etc.), (ii) frequently using those indicators to monitor compliance, to support decision-making, to motivate continuous improvement and for external report- ing, (iii) fixing specific goals in the budget for the environ- mental expenses, incomes and investment, and (iv) linking environmental goals and indicators to rewards. This study is subject to potential limitations in terms of internal and external validity. First, for any proposed struc- tural model, other structural models tested using the same data may suggest different relationships among latent con- structs and reflect equivalent levels of fit ( MacCallum, Wagner, Uchino, & Farbigar, 1993 ). The possible existence of an equivalent model is problematic and constitutes a limitation of the current results obtained. Second, no clear evidence of causality can be established with survey-data obtained from cross-sectional analyses. Rather the evi- dence must be considered consistent with theoretical arguments and predicted relationships. Third, this study is static, i.e., it does not incorporate the evolution of eco- controls and performance over time. Lastly, using the sur- vey method to collect data creates a potential for bias due to common response.