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Corporate Environmental Disclosure:A Case from the Libyan Construction Industry

Ibrahim, I (2015) Corporate Environmental Disclosure:A Case from the Libyan Construction Industry. Doctoral thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.

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In recent years, the international community has become ever more concerned with the effect of human activity on the environment which can be observed and regulated through international policy. An underlying premise suggests that the natural environment should serve the interests of the current generations without jeopardising those of future generations. As a result, the disclosure of environmental issues has become the topic of many studies, and there has been much debate over the disclosure of environmental information by companies. However, little research has been conducted in developing countries regarding the amount and kind of corporate environmental disclosure (CED) within annual reports and its development over time, as well as the effect of external and internal factors on the environmental disclosure.The main aim of this study is to explore current disclosure of environmental issues carried out by Libyan construction companies in order to explain the presence or the absence of CED practices in light of stakeholder and political economy theory. In doing so, a content analysis of the annual reports is made in order to describe CED practices undertaken by the largest Libyan construction companies. In addition, the perspectives and perceptions of a sample of financial managers and the users of the annual reports of Libyan construction companies regarding the various aspects of CED have been explored by conducting semi-structured interviews and administration of questionnaires.Although financial managers are positively inclined toward environmental performance and disclosure by the companies, the results of the study revealed that the level of environmental disclosure in Libyan construction companies was very low. Based on the views of the financial managers, this is due to a number of reasons that have prevented them adopting CED. The most prominent of these are an absence of environmental awareness, lack of demand for environmental information and a dearth of academic research. Similarly, managerial perspectives reveal that the absence of environmental disclosure is mainly due to lack of civil society organizations and the avoidance of any accountability to the public or government. In addition, a deeper viewpoint was provided by the users of annual reports, when they indicated that the social, political and economic features of the Libyan society does not encourage or facilitate environmental disclosure initiatives. However, the teachings of the Islamic religion may encourage companies to disclose the damage to the environment, according to the viewpoint of the majority of the participants. Furthermore, the results of study are consistent with managerial branch of stakeholders theory and the bourgeois political economy theory providing a robust explanation for the absence and the presence of environmental disclosure of Libyan construction companies. Thus, it can be concluded that the CED practices of the Libyan construction industry are influenced by internal factors (management attitude and cognition) and external factors including, local culture, accounting education, the economic and political system, and the legal system.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2016 11:34
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2021 23:26
DOI or Identification number: 10.24377/LJMU.t.00004354
Supervisors: Matipa, Wilfred
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/4354

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