China has suffered frequent water pollution incidents in recent years, and information disclosure on relevant hazards is often delayed and insufficient. The purpose of this paper is to unearth the latent resistance, and analyze the institutional arrangements and countermeasures. After reviewing representative journal literature about environmental information disclosure, this paper provides a theoretical review based on a comparison of the ontological differences between stakeholder theory and fraud triangle theory. A tentative application of fraud triangle theory as a means of explaining the phenomenon is proposed. Empirical analysis is undertaken to verify the tentative theoretical explanation. Based on news reports from Chinese official news websites, content analysis on longitudinal case evidence of representative water pollution incidents is applied, to contribute to unearthing the mechanism of the latent resistance towards information disclosure. The results show that local government agencies have a dominant position vis a vis information disclosure, but that some important actors rarely participate in information disclosure, which provides a chance for local government agencies’ information disclosure to commit fraud. The phenomenon, its essence, and proposed countermeasures are discussed and explained by referring to recent governmental environmental practices in China. Promising research topics are illuminated, providing enlightenment for future study.
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