Research Article

The influence of institutional isomorphism and organisational factors on environmental management accounting practices of listed Nigerian and South African firms


Abstract

The rising profile of environmental issues, most of which relates to continuous consumption of materials, energy and water by companies, and the continuous accumulation of environmental-related costs, necessitates the need for environmental management accounting (EMA). EMA is regarded as an extension of the conventional management accounting, which is adopted for the purpose of tracking and treatment of costs, earnings and savings incurred in relation to companies’ environmental-related activities. This paper determines the level of EMA practices among selected Nigerian and South African firms, and the influence of institutional and organisational factors on the level of practice in each country. Utilising a quantitative research approach, the study used a structured questionnaire to obtain data from 22 listed firms from each country. The data were analysed using an independent sample t-test and a multiple regression estimation technique. Results demonstrate that the level of EMA practices in South African firms is higher than those in Nigerian firms. Institutional isomorphism, through coercive pressure, was found to be the main determinant of EMA practice among South African firms, while EMA practice among Nigerian firms is on account of individual organisational factors. The evidence from the study supports both the institutional and contingency theories as they apply to EMA practices. Therefore, the results indicate that coercive pressure may be necessary to stimulate EMA practice in Nigerian firms given that similar conditions exist in sampled firms in South Africa. Efforts to strengthen normative and mimetic forces can also improve the level of EMA practice in both countries.

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