Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 165–180 | Cite as

Seeing Is (Not) Believing: Managing the Impressions of the Firm’s Commitment to the Natural Environment



This paper examines stakeholder responses to impression management tactics used by firms that express environmental commitment. We inductively analyzed data from 98 open-ended questionnaires and identified two impression management tactics that led respondents to believe that a firm was credible in its commitment to the natural environment. Approximately, half of the respondents responded to illustrative impression management tactics that provide images of, and/or broad-brush comments about, the firm’s commitment to the natural environment. The other half responded to demonstrative impression management tactics, which provide specific facts and details about the firm’s operations. The research results provide important insights into the effects of organizational transparency. In this paper, we explore these findings and provide directions for future research.


impression management tactics legitimacy natural environment stakeholders transparency 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Richard Ivey School of BusinessOntarioCanada

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