The past is never dead : the role of imprints in shaping social and environmental reporting in a post-communist context
Albu, Nadia; Albu, Catalin Nicolae; Apostol, Oana; Cho, Charles H. (2021)
Albu, Catalin Nicolae
Cho, Charles H.
Julkaisun pysyvä osoite on
Purpose Mobilizing a theoretical framework combining institutional logics and "imprinting" lenses, this paper provides an in-depth contextualized analysis of how historical imprints affect social and environmental reporting (SER) practices in Romania, a post-communist country in Eastern Europe. Design/methodology/approach The authors conduct a qualitative field study with a diverse dataset including regulations, publicly available reports and interviews with multiple actors involved in the SER field in Romania. The authors follow a reflexive approach in constructing the narratives by mobilizing their personal experience and understanding of the field to analyze the rich empirical material. Findings The authors identify a blend of logics that combine local and Western conceptualizations of business responsibilities and explain how the transition from a communist ideology to the free market economy affected SER practices in Romania. The authors also highlight four major imprints and document their longitudinal development, evidencing three main patterns: persistence, transformation and decay. The authors find that the deep connections that form between logics and imprints explain the cohabitation of logics rather than their straight replacement. Originality/value The paper contributes by evidencing the role of imprints' dynamics in the institutionalization of SER logics. The authors claim that the persistence (decay) of imprints from a former regime such as communism hinders (facilitates) the institutionalization of Western SER logics. Transformation instead has more uncertain effects. The pattern that an imprint takes hinges upon its usefulness for business interests.
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