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Title: Corporate water risk - and return
Author: Money, Alex Luxman Narayanan
ISNI:       0000 0004 4619 1279
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2014
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Corporate water risk is a function of resource dependence, which exposes firms to uncertainty. Firms rationally seek to reduce this risk, and this shapes their disclosure strategies. However, the consequence is that corporate water risk disclosure is becoming increasingly unfit for purpose. As current approaches begin to acquire institutional legitimacy and the path-dependent label of best practice, a status quo is becoming embedded, reinforced through mimetic behaviour. The agency problem that this creates is unchecked; in part because of the legitimacy acquired by the disclosure strategies, but also because of temporal myopia exhibited by investors, which contributes to unpredictable decision-making. The status quo also results in sub-optimal resource allocation, a problem that is compounded by the large and growing global infrastructure deficit for water supply and services. This thesis sets out a framework by which the disclosure of corporate water risk can be meaningfully evaluated by investors and other stakeholders; and proposes how the water infrastructure investment gap could be narrowed by the development and application of the corporate water return concept. The research builds on empirical foundations to offer new approaches that address the problems of the status quo. First, it empirically explores perceptions of best practice in terms of water risk disclosure, from the perspective of both listed firms and leading institutional investors (Chapters 3 and 4). Second, it proposes a methodology through which firms can disclose water risks in a systematic format; and advances corporate water return as a complementary concept to water risk, in order to catalyse corporate investment in water infrastructure (Chapters 5 and 6). Resource dependence theory, institutional theory, and stakeholder theory are combined to create a trio of integrative, explicative conceptual narratives that form the overarching thesis structure. The research also draws on other themes from economic geography, including proximity; strategic cognition; transaction costs; and real options theory.
Supervisor: Gordon, Clark; Robert, Hope Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography ; water risk ; water return ; corporate sustainability