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Board of directors characteristics and disclosure practices of corporate social responsibility: a comparative study between Brazilian and Spanish companies

Henrique Formigoni (Department of Accounting, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Liliane Segura (Department of Accounting, Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Isabel Gallego-Álvarez (Department of Accounting, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 17 March 2020

Issue publication date: 25 February 2021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to verify if the characteristics of the board of directors (BD) affects the disclosure practices of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Two different population samples were used from the period 2008-2011: Brazilian listed companies and Spanish companies. It is observed that the size of the board positively affects CSR disclosure practices of the two groups of companies. The percentage of independent directors of the board members positively affects the disclosure practices of CSR in Spanish companies. The percentage of participants of the board women positively impacts the disclosure practices of CSR in Brazilian companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors worked with two different population samples: one, composed by the Brazilian listed companies in BM&FBOVESPA and other by Spanish companies listed on Madrid Stock Exchange. The selection of this period was due to the increase in the adoption of GRI guidelines from 2008 (Prado-Lorenzo et al., 2012). In addition, as Spanish companies disclose more CSR reports according to the GRI guidelines (Global Reporting Initiative, 2012), this is a suitable environment for the analysis.

Findings

Regarding the research question of this study, it was found that the profile of the board affects the disclosure practices of CSR of Brazilian and Spanish companies. The size of the board positively affects CSR disclosure practices of the two groups of companies. The percentage of independent directors of the board members positively affects the disclosure practices of CSR in Spanish companies. The percentage of participants of the board women positively impacts the disclosure practices of CSR in Brazilian companies.

Research limitations/implications

Both the BD of Spanish companies as the Brazilian still requires the participation of a greater number of women. It is important to remember that the variable that represents women in the board presented a positive impact on the dependent variables, and it is statistically significant, so it is possible to affirm that when a large number of women are on the Board, the company tends to disclose more standardized information about CSR practices. These results are in line to other empirical analysis that defend that women usually introduce more philanthropic worries (Ibrahim and Angelidis, 1991) and tend to provide higher information transparency, especially about sustainability issues (Barako and Brown, 2008; Prado-Lorenzo and García-Sánchez, 2010; Frías-Aceituno et al., 2012).

Practical implications

This research should benefit, in this sense, investors, managers and policymakers, civil society representatives and corporate managers themselves active in the two economies investigated.

Social implications

It should be noticed that both Brazil and Spain use to encourage joint research between researchers of Brazilian and Spanish universities, funding projects developed in partnership as Cooperation Programme signed in 2001 by the Ministries of Education in both countries. Thus, it is justified the choice of Spain for its comparative analysis due to the need for more field studies on this topic in both countries, and also that it has been promoted by their governments.

Originality/value

It is expected that the results of this research contribute to the identification of relevant factors in disclosure of corporate environmental policies and actions that may be useful in the decision-making process of various stakeholders. Such identification will also allow us to identify possible relationships between environmental initiatives, the profile of BD.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Expression of Concern: The publisher of the Social Responsibility Journal is issuing an Expression of Concern for the following article Formigoni, H., Segura, L., Gallego-Álvarez, I. and Garcia-Sanchez, I.-M. (2020), “Board of directors characteristics and disclosure practices of corporate social responsibility: a comparative study between Brazilian and Spanish companies”, published in the Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print, https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-01-2019-0043, to inform readers that credible concerns have been raised regarding the authorship of this paper. An investigation is ongoing and is currently unresolved. Further information will be provided by the Social Responsibility Journal as it becomes available.

Citation

Formigoni, H., Segura, L. and Gallego-Álvarez, I. (2021), "Board of directors characteristics and disclosure practices of corporate social responsibility: a comparative study between Brazilian and Spanish companies", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 17 No. 2, pp. 282-298. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-01-2019-0043

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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