Bridging the Gap Between Legitimacy and Neutralisation Strategies in Sustainability Reporting


  • Eljas Johansson Gdańsk University of Technology



Sustainability, Legitimation strategies, Impression management, Neutralisation techniques, Tourism transportation


Amid global sustainability challenges, such as climate change, companies operating in different industries face increasing demands for accountability and transparency. To meet these demands, sustainability reporting (SR) has become a mainstream business practice in communicating companies’ positive and negative sustainability impacts. This short paper aims to increase our understanding of how companies may release negative information while seeking to maintain their legitimacy. For this purpose, the paper bridges the gap between legitimacy strategies, impression management and neutralisation techniques by reviewing their associated literature. The nature of neutralisation techniques and how organisations use them in the SR context is underexplored by scholars. Finally, the paper presents prospective discussions of an ongoing study that examines negative sustainability disclosure in the tourism transportation context, namely the airlines.

Author Biography

Eljas Johansson, Gdańsk University of Technology

Eljas Johansson is pursuing a doctoral degree at Gdańsk University of Technology (Department of Management). His research focuses on airline sustainability reporting, which has received research funding from the National Science Centre in Poland. Eljas holds an MBA, and MSc in Service Management and has a hospitality industry background.