University Of Tasmania

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Don't Mention It - Coode Island and Environmental Disclosure Strategies in the Australian Chemicals Industry

conference contribution
posted on 2023-05-23, 04:07 authored by Kathleen GibsonKathleen Gibson, Gary O'DonovanGary O'Donovan
A destructive chemical explosion and fire in 1991 at a chemical storage facility close to Melbourne, Australia, led to massive evacuation of city buildings to escape lifethreatening fumes. Legitimacy theory argues that in response to such environmental incidents, companies will change their social and environmental disclosure practices in an effort to legitimise their activities, and a 21-year longitudinal study has revealed a large increase in environmental information provided by the Australian chemicals industry at this time. The purpose of this study is to analyse the very different disclosure strategies in the 1991 to 1993 annual reports of the two largest chemical companies and test the propositions of legitimacy theory in relation to six legitimacybased disclosure strategies. The findings strongly support legitimacy theory arguments and, more importantly, the method adopted and the attempt made to categorize the disclosures extends previous CSR reporting studies by providing specific evidence of potential legitimising behaviour.


Publication title

Proceedings of The Fifth Accounting History International Conference: Accounting in other places, Accounting by other peoples


Nola Buhr






University of Saskatchewan

Place of publication

Event title

Accounting History International Conference

Event Venue

Banff, Canada

Date of Event (Start Date)


Date of Event (End Date)


Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Management and productivity not elsewhere classified