Accounting for the greening of business dragons in Shanghai
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The astounding pace at which China’s economy is escalating, particularly that of the dynamic city of Shanghai, combined with its unique institutional structure and its embryonic stage of environmentalism makes China an alluring nation to undertake an exploratory research on the “greening” of business enterprises. The environmental problems created by China’s unbridled economic boom now threaten the nation’s fragile social, political and economic infrastructure. Accounting and business operations have key roles in contributing to the careful environmentalmanagement of balancing between the short-term economic growth and long-term sustainability of the eco-system. Social and environmental accounting commands a pivotal role in the “greening” of business accountability. Most research in corporate environmental management and environmental accounting indicate a substantial gap between the espoused positive environmental attitudes of business leaders and the actual practices of their organisations. This paper applies institutional theory in an effort to explain this gap. In discovering the emergingembryonic stage of China’s environmental management issues and more specifically, in attempting to explain the scanty corporate environmental reporting phenomena in discharging accountability in Chinese enterprises, cognitive dissonance model is being employed from an institutional theoretical perspective.
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