Is ESG Disclosure a Means to Respond to Catastrophic Events? A Case Study Analysis

  •  Arcangelo Marrone    
  •  Lara Oliva    


According to the legitimacy theory, disclosure can be considered as a tool for responding to the changing perceptions of a company's stakeholders. Based on this theory, this study, through a case study, examines the reaction of companies in terms of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) disclosure to catastrophic events that have a negative effect on the corporate image. Specifically, this study examines the integrated reports provided by Atlantia in the two years preceding the collapse of the Morandi bridge and in the year of the catastrophic event. The results, however, do not demonstrate significant changes to the ESG disclosure by Atlantia following the catastrophic event. The changes made can in fact be considered as a normal evolution of disclosure policies and not as an attempt to repair the lost legitimacy.

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