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Analysis of social information as a measure of the ethical behavior of Spanish firms

Isabel Gallego‐Alvarez (Administración y Economía de la Empresa, University of Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 2 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to verify empirically how some Spanish firms present their social information with regard to labor practices, human rights, society, and product responsibility and how by means of this social information the firms reveal their ethical behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

The study of the social information reflected in the sustainability report was carried out by the content analysis method. This analysis technique is based on detecting the presence or absence of information, covering a number of different subjects areas. To accomplish the study, certain companies belonging to different sectors of activity were chosen and all the companies belong to the IBEX‐35, which comprises the main Spanish companies on the Stock Market.

Findings

In light of the results obtained it can be considered that the firms analyzed through the social information they present do manifest and make known their ethical behavior, behavior considered as the good, correct and just actions of firms that seek to improve the quality of life of their workers, as well as their social conditions, in areas that are important for the workers such as employment, health and safety, training and education, non‐discrimination, disciplinary practices, freedom of association, society, etc.

Research limitations/implications

This work should also be extended to more companies, both nationally and internationally and not just be limited to the largest companies. There is still much to be done to cover the possible gaps in social reporting.

Originality/value

This paper examines the social information of companies belonging to different sectors of activity and how by means of this social information the firms reveal their ethical behavior.

Keywords

Citation

Gallego‐Alvarez, I. (2008), "Analysis of social information as a measure of the ethical behavior of Spanish firms", Management Decision, Vol. 46 No. 4, pp. 580-599. https://doi.org/10.1108/00251740810865076

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited