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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Tiffany Cheng Han Leung and Rob Gray

This paper aims to explore the extent to which social responsibility and social and environmental reporting and disclosure have any relevance in the (so-called…

1349

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the extent to which social responsibility and social and environmental reporting and disclosure have any relevance in the (so-called) controversial industries. The literature is ambivalent over the extent to which it is expected to see corporate social responsibility and social disclosure employed as active legitimation strategies. However, the apparent importance of “responsible gambling” in both the literature and in gambling industry initiatives suggests, at least a priori, that the international industry is active in some degree of legitimation.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory study examines the social and environmental disclosures of a sample of large companies in each of five countries over a three-year period using conventional content analysis.

Findings

The results are unexpected in that, although disclosure is dominated by employee- and director-related, other areas of social and environmental – and indeed economic – activity feature hardly at all. There is remarkably little disclosure around responsible gambling.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is a research note based on a range of samples across five countries and is, inevitably, tentative. The implications, albeit tentative, include the need to re-theorise corporate disclosure, especially in the controversial sectors.

Originality/value

The note adds to the accounting literature concerned with the controversial industries and contributes to the scarce social accounting research in the gambling sector. The authors hope that the research will be useful in guiding more focused and in-depth studies into this increasingly important and counter-intuitive area.

Article
Publication date: 18 February 2019

Tiffany Cheng Han Leung

The purpose of this paper is to examine how responsible gambling policies are communicated and presented as a legitimation strategy to different stakeholders.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how responsible gambling policies are communicated and presented as a legitimation strategy to different stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based primarily on 49 semi-structured interviews with internal and external stakeholders of Macao’s gambling industry in 2011. This study draws on Reast et al.’s (2012) legitimacy-seeking strategy framework.

Findings

The findings indicate that these organisations use construing and earning legitimacy strategies to ensure passive support and acquiescence from certain stakeholder groups, and they deploy bargaining and capturing legitimacy strategies to generate active support for this morally contested industry. As a means of attaining long-standing legitimacy in the industry, gambling operators engage symbolically rather than substantively in responsible gambling to minimise the legitimacy gap.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the study pertain to a unique setting and might not be suitable for generalisation.

Practical implications

In the absence of stringent legal mechanisms and strong external stakeholder pressure, the 12th Five-Year Plan of the People’s Republic of China aims to transform Macao into a “World Centre of Tourism and Leisure”, and gambling companies may soon face much stronger pressures from the Chinese Government and the Macao Government.

Social/implications

Voluntary responsible gambling initiatives are liable to be used only in symbolic fashion, without offering genuine engagement or full commitment to the most vulnerable stakeholder group.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature on social and accounting literature by providing an in-depth case study of how organisations in the gambling industry use different communication strategies to shape and respond to controversial issues.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 November 2015

Carlos Noronha, Tiffany Cheng Han Leung and On Ieng Lei

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the corporate response of Chinese railway companies after the deadly Wenzhou train accident in China which happened on July 23…

1244

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the corporate response of Chinese railway companies after the deadly Wenzhou train accident in China which happened on July 23, 2011. Few studies on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in developing countries have looked into whether the information disclosed by companies is satisfactory with sufficient response after a major incident has happened.

Design/methodology/approach

Five companies with the largest market value in the Chinese railway industry involved in the production of trains and railway systems connected to the “7.23” incident were taken as the observations in this study. Information published by the companies and the media related to the accident, including CSR and sustainability reports, company Web sites, news and press releases and Internet postings, were investigated in detail in a qualitative manner.

Findings

The findings show that disclosure of information related to the “7.23” incident was very low or almost inexistent in the observed companies. For those that claimed that they had followed CSR reporting standards and guidelines, the disclosed information appeared to be insufficient to reveal practical information and fulfill stakeholders’ requirements. The study also sheds light on the corporate reporting behaviors of Chinese state-owned enterprises by applying legitimacy, stakeholder and institutional theories to the unique social and political environment in the country.

Originality/value

This paper critically reveals the poor corporate response after the “7.23” incident in Chinese railway companies. The case serves as an example for the companies to ponder on what improvements are called for in terms of social reporting and relevant corporate actions after a major accident. Also, the study contributes to the CSR disclosure literature concerning developing countries by examining the case of China and the little studied railway industry run by the state.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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