Sustainability Performance and Assurance: Influence on Reputation
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The positive impact of sustainability on reputation has been assumed but not sufficiently examined. This study probes the veracity of these claims by applying legitimacy and signaling perspectives to examine whether sustainability performance and assurance contribute to corporate reputation. We find superior sustainability performance has a positive association with sustainability reputation. Companies with better performance are also more likely to obtain external assurance of their sustainability disclosure, but assurance does not directly affect reputation. Assurance appears to be a managerial tool associated with the congruence of internal processes rather than a differentiating signal to external stakeholders.
Keywordsassurance legitimacy signaling theory sustainability reporting sustainability reputation
The authors appreciate the helpful feedback of the Editor and reviewers of the Corporate Reputation Review. Also, we are thankful for financial support from the Rollins College Critchfield Research Grant.
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