To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

The influence of coercive isomorphism on corporate social responsibility reporting and reputation

Suaini Othman (Senior Lecturer and a PhD candidate, Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam (UiTM), Malaysia)
Faizah Darus (Associate Professor, Faculty of Accountancy, and Head of the Asia‐Pacific Centre for Sustainability (APCeS), a collaboration between Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam and ACCA Malaysia, Malaysia)
Roshayani Arshad (Associate Professor, Faculty of Accountancy, and Head of the Financial Reporting Research Centre (FRRC), a collaboration between Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, and ACCA Malaysia, Malaysia)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 8 March 2011



The purpose of this paper is to analyse whether coercive isomorphism as imposed by regulatory authorities is an effective mechanism to promote a company's CSR reputation in a developing country. The study seeks to consider the determinants of CSR reporting as such factors are deemed to influence the external perception of reputation.


The study employs institutional theory as the basis for explaining corporate responsible behaviour. In total, 117 companies in “three sensitive industries” for the year 2007 were selected. CSR reputation is analyzed based on a self‐constructed index.


Based on regression analysis, the study found that regulatory efforts are significant mechanisms in promoting CSR reputation. Surprisingly, these companies in the “sensitive industry” seem to neglect the importance of environmental reputation. However, institutional owners regard CSR reporting as a means to enhance their CSR reputation, while family‐owned companies do not appear to consider CSR reporting as an important channel to boost their reputation.

Research limitations/implications

The study only considers information from annual reports and the sample is limited to only three sectors that are regarded as “sensitive industries”.

Practical implications

Regulatory efforts have the prospect to become a significant force in promoting CSR reporting, as well as advancing CSR strategies in managing a company's reputation.


This study focuses on companies in a developing country in an attempt to understand the relationship between CSR reporting and companies' reputation. It adds substantially to the existing literature, the focus of which is mainly on CSR issues in developed countries. The study also provides an objective methodology in measuring CSR reputation.



Othman, S., Darus, F. and Arshad, R. (2011), "The influence of coercive isomorphism on corporate social responsibility reporting and reputation", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 119-135.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited