Deakin University

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The interplay between home and host logics of accountability in multinational corporations (MNCs): the case of the Fundão dam disaster

journal contribution
posted on 2020-11-01, 00:00 authored by M Safari, Vincent Bicudo de CastroVincent Bicudo de Castro, I Steccolini
Purpose: The major purpose of this paper is to answer the overarching questions of how multinational corporations (MNCs) address the multiple institutional logics of accountability and pressures of the field in which they operate and how the dominant logic changes and shifts in response to such pressures pre- and post-disaster situation. Design/methodology/approach: In-depth interpretive textual analyses of multiple longitudinal data sets are conducted to study the case of the Fundão dam disaster. The data sources include historical documents, academic articles and public institutional press releases from 2000 to 2016, covering the environment leading to the case study incident and its aftermath. Findings: The findings reveal how MNCs' plurality of and, at times, conflicting institutional logics shape the organizational behaviors, actions and nonactions of actors pre-, peri- and post-disaster. More specifically, the predominance bureaucracy embedded in the state-corporatist logic of the host country before a disaster allows the strategic subunit of an MNC to continue operating while causing various forms of environmental damage until a globally visible disaster triggers a reversal in the dominant logic toward the embrace of wider, global, emergent social and environmental accountability. Originality/value: This paper contributes to discussions regarding the need to explore in depth of how MNCs respond to multiple institutional pressures in practice. This study extends the literature concerning disaster accountability, state-corporatism and logic-shifting by exploring how MNCs respond to the plurality of institutional logics and pressures over time and showing how, in some cases, logics not only reinforce but also contrast with each other and how a globally exposed disaster may trigger a shift in the dominant logic governing MNCs' responses



Accounting, auditing and accountability journal






1761 - 1789




Bingley, Eng.





Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal; C Journal article