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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Isabel Gallego

In recent years the concept of corporate social responsibility has gained prominence among academics from a wide range of disciplines. According to the Green Paper issued…

Abstract

In recent years the concept of corporate social responsibility has gained prominence among academics from a wide range of disciplines. According to the Green Paper issued by the Commission of the European Communities in July 2001, corporate social responsibility is defined as a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. The problem is how firms have made known the information on corporate social responsibility. With this in mind, in the present work we were prompted to analyse the relevance of corporate social responsibility in Spanish firms. To perform this study we examined some Spanish firms that present information about corporate social responsibility according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. Certain relevant conclusions about corporate social responsibility indicate that the disclosure of information about corporate social responsibility and the elaboration of the Sustainability Report in Spanish firms has been increasing and improving in recent years, that some of the most relevant information is economic, social and environmental, the environmental aspect being the most outstanding, and that of the firms analysed, Inditex (manufacturing industries) and Telefonica (communications) are the ones reporting the best information.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 1 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Yingjun Lu, Indra Abeysekera and Corinne Cortese

This paper aims to examine the influence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting quality and board characteristics on corporate social reputation of Chinese…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the influence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting quality and board characteristics on corporate social reputation of Chinese listed firms.

Design/methodology/approach

Firms chosen for this study are drawn from a social responsibility ranking list of Chinese listed firms. The social responsibility rating scores identified by this ranking list are used to measure the social reputation of firms studied. The model-testing method is used to examine hypothesised relationships between CSR reporting quality, board characteristics and corporate social reputation.

Findings

The results indicate that CSR reporting quality positively influences corporate social reputation but chief executive officer/chairman duality as a measure of board characteristics has a negative impact on corporate social reputation. Firm’s financial performance and firm size also positively influence corporate social reputation.

Research limitations/implications

The relatively small sample of firms for a cross-sectional study, and the proxies constructed for various concepts to empirically test hypotheses can limit generalising findings to firms outside the social responsibility ranking list. Future studies can undertake longitudinal analysis and compare socially responsible firms with others to expand empirical findings about corporate social reputation.

Originality/value

This paper investigates the influences of CSR reporting quality and board characteristics on corporate social reputation in the context of a developing country, China.

Details

Pacific Accounting Review, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0114-0582

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2012

Humayun Kabir and David M. Akinnusi

The aim of this paper is to determine corporate social reporting practices and to examine the type and extent of such reporting in the corporate reports of manufacturing…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to determine corporate social reporting practices and to examine the type and extent of such reporting in the corporate reports of manufacturing companies in Swaziland over a period of two years from 2007 to 2008. This paper also aims to examine the various areas of social practices in which companies are involved.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses questionnaires and corporate reports to gather information from 30 selected manufacturing companies. This research uses content analysis of corporate reports as a method to measure the extent and nature of corporate social reporting according to the number of words disclosed over the two‐year period.

Findings

Findings show that the concept of corporate social responsibility is fairly new in Swaziland and very few companies disclose corporate social responsibility information in corporate reports. However, the study finds that there is a trend of increasing corporate social responsibility information disclosures among the companies from 2007 to 2008.

Practical implications

The increasing trend of corporate social responsibility information disclosures indicates a positive step towards the further development of corporate social responsibility information reporting practice in Swaziland as well as other developing African countries.

Originality/value

The study makes an important contribution to the knowledge of corporate social responsibility in Swaziland. In addition, it also elaborates the perspective for a greater understanding of the social obligations that corporate entities owe to their stakeholders and society in general.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 2 August 2011

Tomi Amberla, Lei Wang, Heikki Juslin, Rajat Panwar, Eric Hansen and Roy Anderson

The basic purpose of this research is to compare and describe various aspects related to student perceptions of forest industry CR performance in Finland and the USA.

Abstract

Purpose

The basic purpose of this research is to compare and describe various aspects related to student perceptions of forest industry CR performance in Finland and the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

With a quantitative research method, this study investigated 568 students. CSR and CSR reporting are the fundamental concepts that shape the development of the hypotheses and thus are integral to this empirical study.

Findings

Finnish students have a stronger belief that reporting is reliable and open than their US counterparts. Finnish students show more positive views on the way forest industry companies implement environmental responsibility than their US counterparts. US students show more positive views on social responsibility, especially those connected with stakeholder relations, than their Finnish counterparts.

Originality/value

The obvious connections between reporting views and perceptions of corporate responsibility highlight the significance of reliable reporting in the context of CR. Major fields of study significantly affected student perceptions of CR. The results of the study can help schools and enterprises to design proper CR‐related education courses or programs. Results of this study indicate that the CR weakness of the industry still lies in environmental responsibility. Thus, while forest industry companies should strive to apply a multi‐dimensional CR strategy, emphasis should still be on the environmental component.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Alex Douglas, John Doris and Brian Johnson

This paper proposes a four‐state framework for measuring corporate social responsibility reporting and argues that TQM or excellent organisations should be in an advanced…

Abstract

This paper proposes a four‐state framework for measuring corporate social responsibility reporting and argues that TQM or excellent organisations should be in an advanced state of social responsiveness, and that this should be reflected in their reporting of such activities. A study of six Irish financial institutions is used to demonstrate the extent of social reporting in company annual reports and Web sites with a view to positioning them on the framework. Social reporting in the annual reports is compared with four European “best practice” financial institutions as well as the organisations' Web sites. Analysis shows that Irish banks are well behind the leading European banks with regard to the quality and quantity of social disclosure in their annual reports. It further shows that they disclose a greater volume of social information on their Web sites than in their annual reports. Reasons for such poor performance are attributed to the voluntary nature of social disclosure in Ireland.

Details

The TQM Magazine, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0954-478X

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Yuanhui Li, Jie Zhang and Check-Teck Foo

Here, the paper aims to model major corporate characteristics associated with corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting (in particular, its quality). Corporations in…

Abstract

Purpose

Here, the paper aims to model major corporate characteristics associated with corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting (in particular, its quality). Corporations in China are increasingly expected by the public and government to be more socially responsible. As such, it will be intriguing to ask, what are the characteristics associated with higher quality CSR reporting?

Design/methodology/approach

CSR report quality scores are hand-gathered from HEXUN (web site) whilst financial and stock market information from the China Stock Market and Accounting Research (CSMAR) database. A total of 613 CSR reports' quality scores were utilized (Rankins CSR ratings) in the process of developing the model. Reports are hand-gathered from corporations listed on both the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges (SSE).

Findings

The results suggest most interestingly, the quality of CSR report (mandatory) to be strongly, positively related with corporate financial characteristics: market capitalization (corporate size), shareholders' concentration of powers, corporate financial leverage (implying bondholders/debtors' influence). Surprisingly, CSR reporting is associated neither with corporate profitability nor by state-ownership. The presence of independent directors (at least in China) seems to have negative influences.

Practical implications

CSR reporting may easily be mandated by government through a regulatory process. However, this does not necessarily lead to reports of a high quality. Instead, orientation towards higher visibility in social responsibility for listed corporations is better explained by financial characteristics: market valuation, ownership and leverage.

Originality/value

This paper utilizes for the first time, in-depth and multi-faceted quality CSR scores (overall, segregated into macro-social, content and technology) for investigating CSR behavior of listed corporations in China. The findings suggest financial characteristics size (market valuation), ownership (shareholders' concentration of powers) and corporate leverage are better predictors of CSR behavior among listed corporations.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 20 November 2009

Ulla Kotonen

The purpose of this paper is to analyse CSR reporting in large Finnish listed companies, focusing on the following questions: what kinds of motives and objectives appear…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse CSR reporting in large Finnish listed companies, focusing on the following questions: what kinds of motives and objectives appear behind CSR reporting, what kinds of documents are used in CSR reporting, and what kind of information related especially to CSR policy, stakeholders, as well as economic, social and environmental responsibilities, is presented? Finally, the idea is to compare large Finnish listed companies' CSR information with corresponding international results.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on the analysis of qualitative data consisting of formal CSR reports, including annual reports and special CSR reports, of 2006. The empirical analyses are supplemented with interviews with four company representatives and with two auditors. The information of special CSR reports is analysed by using the content method.

Findings

Companies understand responsibility as a duty to act responsibly towards their stakeholders and CSR reporting as a response to stakeholders' expectations and demands. The study indicates that especially corporate characteristics such as industry group and internationalization stage as well as general contextual factors such as social and cultural context affect voluntary CSR reporting. It shows that the large Finnish listed companies define corporate social responsibility as being based on Elkington's triple bottom line (TBL) model. In CSR reporting companies follow more or less GRI guidelines. Formal CSR information is presented based on the TBL model but companies emphasize different issues in their reporting.

Research limitations/implications

First, the research is based on interpretative understanding and these kinds of analyses are always more or less subjective. Second, the analysis is based on CSR information produced by large Finnish listed companies. Thus, the study does not give an extensive description of the CSR reporting in all Finnish listed companies or in non‐listed companies. Third, the research is a cross‐sectional study based on CSR information published in one particular year. And fourth, the research data include only certain formal CSR information, not all CSR disclosures. Thereby, the analysis gives a snapshot or a glimpse of Finnish CSR reporting practices. The analysis does not tell anything about history, development or future of CSR reporting practices or anything about other kinds of CSR communication of the large Finnish listed companies. Thus, the reality reconstructed in the study must not be generalized, but used to understand CSR reporting in the context.

Originality/value

The paper analyses CSR reporting in large Finnish listed companies, focusing on motives and objectives, documents used, and information related particularly to CSR policy, stakeholders, and economic, social and environmental responsibilities.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Sarah George Lauwo, Olatunde Julius Otusanya and Owolabi Bakre

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing debate on governance, accountability, transparency and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the mining sector…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing debate on governance, accountability, transparency and corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the mining sector of a developing country context. It examines the reporting practices of the two largest transnational gold-mining companies in Tanzania in order to draw attention to the role played by local government regulations and advocacy and campaigning by nationally organised non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with respect to promoting corporate social reporting practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes a political economy perspective to consider the serious implications of the neo-liberal ideologies of the global capitalist economy, as manifested in Tanzania’s regulatory framework and in NGO activism, for the corporate disclosure, accountability and responsibility of transnational companies (TNCs). A qualitative field case study methodology is adopted to locate the largely unfamiliar issues of CSR in the Tanzanian mining sector within a more familiar literature on social accounting. Data for the case study were obtained from interviews and from analysis of documents such as annual reports, social responsibility reports, newspapers, NGO reports and other publicly available documents.

Findings

Analysis of interviews, press clips and NGO reports draws attention to social and environmental problems in the Tanzanian mining sector, which are arguably linked to the manifestation of the broader crisis of neo-liberal agendas. While these issues have serious impacts on local populations in the mining areas, they often remain invisible in mining companies’ social disclosures. Increasing evidence of social and environmental ills raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the regulatory frameworks, as well as the roles played by NGOs and other pressure groups in Tanzania.

Practical implications

By empowering local NGOs through educational, capacity building, technological and other support, NGOs’ advocacy, campaigning and networking with other civil society groups can play a pivotal role in encouraging corporations, especially TNCs, to adopt more socially and environmentally responsible business practices and to adhere to international and local standards, which in turn may help to improve the lives of many poor people living in developing countries in general, and Tanzania in particular.

Originality/value

This paper contributes insights from gold-mining activities in Tanzania to the existing literature on CSR in the mining sector. It also contributes to political economy theory by locating CSR reporting within the socio-political and regulatory context in which mining operations take place in Tanzania. It is argued that, for CSR reporting to be effective, robust regulations and enforcement and stronger political pressure must be put in place.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2013

Duffy Morf, Dale L. Flesher, Mario Hayek, Stephanie Pane and Caroline Hayek

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how social power and pressures over the past century have shifted the audience towards which organizations find themselves…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze how social power and pressures over the past century have shifted the audience towards which organizations find themselves accountable, as reflected in their social responsibility reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use historical analysis to analyze qualitatively the annual reports of prominent US organizations between the 1900s to the early 2000s. Adopting an integrationist perspective, the authors ground their research in stakeholder theory and reviewed passages in annual reports identifying the audiences of socially responsible organizational initiatives.

Findings

The study revealed that the degree and focus of corporate accountability shifted over the course of the 1900s, and that this change was due to shifts in influence and power stemming from different stakeholders. During the early 1900s, organizations were more concerned with pleasing internal stakeholders (i.e. employees); however, economic and social events shifted this attention towards external stakeholder groups (i.e. the environment) during the latter part of the century. More recent events fueled social pressures, resulting in legislation and social reporting guidelines during the first decade of the twenty‐first century.

Practical implications

Organizations will continue to be held accountable as new stakeholder groups emerge and different social movements and economic changes transpire, exerting more pressure on organizations to be socially responsible. Furthermore, organizations need to remain current on social reporting guidelines, as these increasingly become the means of communication with multiple stakeholder groups. In summary, findings suggest that organizations would benefit by staying abreast of economic and social cues when developing their socially responsible initiatives and reporting.

Originality/value

The unique contribution of this paper is to identify how economic and social events place pressure on organizations and shift organizational attention through an accountability mechanism, resulting in changes in the focus of social responsibility reporting.

Details

Journal of Management History, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1751-1348

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 25 March 2021

Nuha Ceesay, Moade Shubita and Fiona Robertson

Purpose: The purpose of this chapter is to establish the sustainability reporting practices of FTSE 100 companies using integrated reporting (IR), corporate social

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this chapter is to establish the sustainability reporting practices of FTSE 100 companies using integrated reporting (IR), corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate governance (CG) as proxies. Our study has adopted a holistic approach by combining dimensions of each factor in one variable.

Design/Methodological Approach: The study data cover all FTSE 100 companies over five years, thereby generating 505 company-year observations for each variable of the study. Authors have collected the data from Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reports filed with Thomson Reuters and International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).

Findings: Results indicate the practice of sustainability reporting in FTSE 100 companies both per variables and dimensions levels. It shows, for example, 89% of the companies reported on their charitable donations. The study also found that 79% of the FTSE 100 companies reported on their sustainability committees whilst 86% and 85% reported on their emission reduction and waste reduction policies, respectively. Results show that the CSR impact is higher than CG regarding IR adoption. The Logistic Model manages to explain a high percentage of IR adoption while controlling for other misspecification issues such as multicollinearity.

Practical Implication: The study highlights practice of substantiality reporting for public shareholding companies listed on FTSE 100 Index along with interaction among proxies. These will be of interest to companies not only in the FTSE 100 Index but also those outside. Companies can rely on these factors to strengthen their governance, social responsibility and reporting policies in consideration of all stakeholders and not just a few. We believe that we shed a quantitative explanation on IR adoption by CSR and CG factors, and we expect an impact on practices following results of our study.

Social Implication: Results have indicated that at least 60% of companies in the FTSE 100 Index have imbedded social responsibility activities, such as charitable giving, waste reduction initiatives, emissions reduction policy and sustainability committees.

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