Environmental Management Accounting in Local Government: Functional and Institutional Imperatives
Forthcoming in Financial Accountability & Management
Posted: 4 Oct 2016
Date Written: October 3, 2016
The challenge of using Environmental Management Accounting (EMA) tools such as full cost accounting to improve waste and recycling management has been acknowledged for over a decade. However, research on assessing and understanding local government use of EMA, especially broader levels of EMA, is lacking. This study investigates the link between the nature and drivers of EMA practice for waste and recycling services based on a survey conducted with local governments in New South Wales, Australia. The study finds that although social and organisational factors are related to the uptake of EMA, local governments are subject to stronger functional demands than institutional pressures in their use of more expansive EMA such as indirect and external costs and impacts. This implies that the use of EMA in local government is viewed more as an adaptive activity to cope with functional challenges and achieve efficiency, than as an institutional imperative to achieve social acceptance.
Keywords: EMA, local government, waste and recycling management, contingency theory, institutional theory
JEL Classification: M4
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation