Title: Linking sustainability reporting to sustainability performance through regulation

Authors: Rendani Mavis Matakanye; Huibrecht Margaretha Van Der Poll

Addresses: Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) Midrand, University of South Africa (Unisa), P.O. Box 392, Pretoria, 0003, South Africa ' Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) Midrand, University of South Africa (Unisa), P.O. Box 392, Pretoria, 0003, South Africa

Abstract: Greenwashing tendencies within a highly regulated mining industry may be a challenge. Therefore, underpinned by stakeholder theory, this study evaluates whether sustainability reporting (SR) by South African mining companies is linked to actual sustainability performance (SP). The study is confined to three sustainability dimensions namely, community development, employee welfare, and environmental protection. The objectives of the study were to create linkages between SR and SP; and to understand the SR-SP factor structure. Descriptive statistics, exploratory factor analysis, the pairwise t-test, a structural equation model and Cohen's D were employed. Regulation on its own has a small effect on reducing greenwashing, therefore, arguably there is a need to explore other stakeholder-centric regulatory mechanisms to reduce the perceived SR-SP gap. Future research could investigate the effects of greenwashing from a multi-stakeholder perspective.

Keywords: business leadership; greenwashing; highly regulated; mining industry; sustainable development; sustainability reporting; sustainability performance; stakeholders; stakeholder theory.

DOI: 10.1504/JGBA.2021.114321

Journal for Global Business Advancement, 2021 Vol.14 No.1, pp.5 - 23

Received: 07 Jan 2021
Accepted: 15 Jan 2021

Published online: 16 Apr 2021 *

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