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Management of environmental and social risks and topics in the banking sector - An empirical investigation


Hummel, Katrin; Laun, Ute; Krauss, Annette (2021). Management of environmental and social risks and topics in the banking sector - An empirical investigation. The British Accounting Review, 53(1):100921.

Abstract

This paper investigates how environmental and social (E&S) risks and topics (i. e. E&S issues that are important in terms of adaptation to a changing business environment) are integrated in the banking sector. Despite banks’ key role in steering financial flows towards sustainable development, little is currently known as to whether and how banks integrate E&S aspects into their management control systems and whether this integration translates into E&S performance. Building on prior studies in the environmental management control literature, we design a conceptual model in which we link contextual factors, a proactive strategy approach, E&S management controls, and E&S performance. Following common practice in the banking sector, we differentiate between two paths of E&S management controls: risk management (value protection) and topic management (value creation). Based on survey data for a small sample of 50 European banks, we find evidence that contextual factors, reflected in the perceived power and legitimacy of clients, voluntary standard setters and NGOs, are positively related to a proactive strategy approach. This proactive strategy translates into both topic and risk management. Yet, in the next step, only topic management is positively related to the E&S performance of a bank, but not risk management.

Abstract

This paper investigates how environmental and social (E&S) risks and topics (i. e. E&S issues that are important in terms of adaptation to a changing business environment) are integrated in the banking sector. Despite banks’ key role in steering financial flows towards sustainable development, little is currently known as to whether and how banks integrate E&S aspects into their management control systems and whether this integration translates into E&S performance. Building on prior studies in the environmental management control literature, we design a conceptual model in which we link contextual factors, a proactive strategy approach, E&S management controls, and E&S performance. Following common practice in the banking sector, we differentiate between two paths of E&S management controls: risk management (value protection) and topic management (value creation). Based on survey data for a small sample of 50 European banks, we find evidence that contextual factors, reflected in the perceived power and legitimacy of clients, voluntary standard setters and NGOs, are positively related to a proactive strategy approach. This proactive strategy translates into both topic and risk management. Yet, in the next step, only topic management is positively related to the E&S performance of a bank, but not risk management.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Accounting
Language:English
Date:1 January 2021
Deposited On:09 Dec 2020 15:18
Last Modified:16 Feb 2021 02:08
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0890-8389
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bar.2020.100921
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:20140

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