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Journal cover: Social Responsibility Journal

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Online from: 2005

Subject Area: Business Ethics and Law

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Local government website sustainability reporting: a mimicry perspective

Document Information:
Title:Local government website sustainability reporting: a mimicry perspective
Author(s):Corina Joseph, (Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia), Ross Taplin, (Professor in the School of Accounting, Curtin Business School, Curtin University, Perth, Australia)
Citation:Corina Joseph, Ross Taplin, (2012) "Local government website sustainability reporting: a mimicry perspective", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 8 Iss: 3, pp.363 - 372
Keywords:Isomorphism, Local authorities, Malaysia, Sustainability reporting, Web sites
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/17471111211247938 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain the role of mimetic isomorphism in relation to reporting sustainability information on local authority websites.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper adopts a case study approach using semi-structured interviews of 16 Malaysian local councils.

Findings – The paper finds that 15 out of 16 of the interviewed councils mimicked the sustainability information on websites of other councils. Interviews revealed that they do so to copy ideas about sustainability activities implementation rather than reporting format. Councils imitate both Malaysian and international websites.

Practical implications – Websites play an important role in the improvement of sustainability development for learning, benchmarking and cost reduction. The pattern of copying websites suggests a hierarchical model where councils lower in the hierarchy copy councils at the next level in the hierarchy.

Originality/value – This paper adds to the limited literature on mimetic isomorphism of public sector website sustainability reporting in developing countries.

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