Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration



Committee Member

Shawn Jones

Committee Member

Marian Levy


By empirically connecting the legitimization process with individual stakeholder groups, this research enhances our understanding of the impact of the institutional environment on organizational efforts toward sustainability, and suggests a new approach to examining the influence of stakeholders on green strategies.This dissertation consists of two papers. In the first paper, the role of consumers and the process of legitimization of the green organization is examined. Hypotheses are tested experimentally, wherein subjects consider a range of green organizational behaviors. Analysis reveals that all green behaviors result in the organization earning some legitimacy. Further, there is no significant difference in consumers' attitudes toward the company that practices substantive, symbolic, or no green behaviors, as hypothesized. Finally, seemingly important moderating relationships, such as skepticism toward environmental claims and prior environmental concern, do not impact legitimacy or attitude toward the company.The second paper examines the role of the shareholder. This research introduces the idea of coercive pressure placed on the organization to be green, and the resulting organizational legitimacy of the firm is examined. Hypotheses are tested through event study methodology. The event examined is the announcement of a supplier sustainability scorecard mandate by publically traded firms. Analysis reveals that shareholders of the supplier firms view the mandate positively, with moderating effects from the level of environmental transparency and degree of financial leverage of the supplier firm.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.