Based on a set of complementary theories, namely, the legitimacy, stakeholder and signaling theories, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the visibility of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosures on bank websites. In particular, we explored the accessibility, placement, reporting format, extent and content of online CSR information. This paper also examined the effect of size, being listed, ownership structure and the internationalization of banks on online CSR reporting.
A sample consisting of 20 banks was used where the data were manually collected from the websites of various banks during the fourth quarter of 2017. Three reporting formats were explored: information posted directly on the website, information contained in a separate CSR report and information within a management commentary or annual report or integrated report. Content analysis was used to measure the level of online CSR disclosures in four sub-dimensions: environment, human resources, products and customers and community involvement. The sample was grouped according to the criteria of size, being listed, ownership structure and internationality. Non-parametric statistics were used to analyze some factors that influence CSR disclosure, namely, size, public ownership, internationalization and foreign ownership.
The results indicate that accessibility to CSR information is relatively good. The placement of CSR information on websites varies among banks. Moreover, community involvement was the most disclosed dimension on the banks’ websites. There was a lack of disclosure on items regarding the environment. Furthermore, the findings of this paper showed that significant determinants for explaining online CSR disclosure level were size and being listed.
This study contributes to the literature by examining the online CSR disclosure practices of banks from an emerging market with a different socio-economic context and regulations compared to the developed market.
The authors would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their useful comments that have greatly improved the manuscript. Any shortcomings are the responsibilities of the authors alone. In addition, we are grateful to the participants of The International Conference Accounting and Management Information Systems AMIS 2018 organized by Bucharest University of Economic Studies, June 13-14, 2018.
Matuszak, Ł. and Różańska, E. (2019), "Online corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure in the banking industry: evidence from Poland", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-11-2018-0303Download as .RIS
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