Media attention and its impact on corporate commitment to climate change action

Mohammad Tavakolifar, Ayishat Omar, Tesfaye T. Lemma, Grant Samkin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The study examines whether the media's attention to a firm shapes its commitment to climate change, and if there is a systematic inter-industry variation in the association between the two variables. Analyzing data drawn from S&P 1500 companies, for the years 2015–2019, we provide robust evidence that heightened media attention accentuates the odds of a firm committing to take more action on climate change. We also demonstrate that the likelihood of companies in environmentally sensitive industries committing to action on climate change is lower, relative to those in other industries. Additionally, membership of a firm in environmentally sensitive industries moderates the form of the association between media coverage of a firm and corporate commitment to action on climate change. Our findings suggest that media-driven environmental legitimacy and reputational costs exceed the investments required to enhance a firm's commitment to climate change action. The findings imply that the agenda setting, salience transfer and issue framing functions of the media could be used to enhance corporate response to climate change issues, particularly the response of those firms that appear to have a lower proclivity towards taking action to address climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number127833
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume313
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

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