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Female directors and CSR disclosure in Bangladesh: the role of family affiliation

Pallab Kumar Biswas (Department of Accountancy and Finance, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Helen Roberts (Department of Accountancy and Finance, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Rosalind Heather Whiting (Department of Accountancy and Finance, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Article publication date: 4 February 2021

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the impact of female director affiliations to governing families on corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosures in the context of Bangladeshi firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a quantitative empirical research method grounded in Socioemotional Wealth (SEW) theory. Data was sourced from Bangladeshi publicly listed non-financial sector companies’ annual reports and stock exchange trading and publication reports and consists of 2,637 firm-year observations from 1996 to 2011. Pooled multivariate regression models are used to test the association between corporate social and environmental disclosure and female directors, and the family affiliation (or not) of those directors.

Findings

The findings provide strong evidence that female directors who are affiliated to the governing family, founders and other board members reduce CSR disclosure in family firms; unaffiliated female board directors enhance CSR disclosure, and this effect is significant in both family and non-family firms.

Research limitations/implications

Definitions of family firms and affiliated directors may lead to over-generalization in the results.

Originality/value

The study highlights variation in the nature of female board appointments in emerging market family-controlled firms. The findings bring attention to the role of affiliated female director appointments in family ownership structures and speak directly to family business owners, advisors and policy makers about the importance of unaffiliated female directors as catalysts of improved CSR disclosure in family and non-family firms.

Keywords

Citation

Biswas, P.K., Roberts, H. and Whiting, R.H. (2021), "Female directors and CSR disclosure in Bangladesh: the role of family affiliation", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-10-2019-0587

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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