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Political competition and environmental reporting: evidence from New Zealand local governments

Mir, Monir Zaman, Chatterjee, Bikram and Taplin, Ross 2015, Political competition and environmental reporting: evidence from New Zealand local governments, Asian review of accounting, vol. 23, no. 1, pp. 17-38, doi: 10.1108/ARA-02-2014-0027.

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Title Political competition and environmental reporting: evidence from New Zealand local governments
Author(s) Mir, Monir Zaman
Chatterjee, Bikram
Taplin, Ross
Journal name Asian review of accounting
Volume number 23
Issue number 1
Start page 17
End page 38
Total pages 22
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Place of publication Bingley, Eng.
Publication date 2015
ISSN 1321-7348
1758-8863
Keyword(s) Environmental reporting
Local governments
New Zealand
Political competition
Summary Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between "political competition" and "environmental reporting" by New Zealand local governments. Design/methodology/approach - The research method includes a longitudinal analysis of environmental reporting by New Zealand local governments in their annual reports for the financial years 2005-2006 to 2009-2010. "Content analysis" was used to attach scores to the extent of environmental reporting. The "number of candidates divided by the number of available positions at the previous election" was used as the proxy for "political competition". Findings - The study reports a positive relationship between "political competition" and "environmental reporting" in 2007-2008. The number of local governments reporting voluntary environmental information increased in 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 compared to 2005-2006, followed by a reduction in such numbers following the 2007-2008 financial year. This trend in disclosure can be attributed to the local government elections in October 2007. This finding is consistent with the expectation of "agency theory" and provides insight into the pattern of perceived agency costs. The study also finds a dearth in reporting "monetary" and "bad" news. Originality/value - The study contributes towards the previous literature on environmental reporting by concentrating on the public sector and New Zealand, together with investigating the relationship of such reporting with "political competition" through a longitudinal analysis. The theoretical contribution of this study is the adoption of "agency theory" in the context of public sector voluntary reporting and investigating the significance attached by agents to environmental reporting to minimise agency cost. The practical contribution of the study is in the area of future development of reporting standards in regards to environmental reporting.
Language eng
DOI 10.1108/ARA-02-2014-0027
Field of Research 150106 Sustainability Accounting and Reporting
Socio Economic Objective 960799 Environmental Policy
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Emerald Group Publishing
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30073542

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Open Access Collection
Department of Accounting
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.