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Corporate social and environmental reporting practices: A case of listed companies in Bangladesh

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Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore corporate social and environmental reporting (CSER) practices and motivations in Bangladesh. Design/methodology/approach Using a mixed-methods approach, the paper attempts to understand what corporate social and environmental issues Bangladeshi firms are reporting and why. The paper first explores the motivations for CSER in line with O’Dwyer’s (2003) proposed classifications of proactive and reactive motivations through interviews and frames its findings using stakeholder theory. To provide a more holistic view, content analysis adapted from CSR Asia (2008) categorization (broadly guided by GRI) was conducted to enhance findings from engagement-based interviews with managers. Findings The paper finds that “community investment and development” and “governance codes and policies” received the highest amount of disclosure, while the least amount of disclosure was found in the “workplace/human rights” category. Although a philanthropic tone was found behind “community investment”, such as poverty alleviation activities, disclosure in this area is mostly motivated by proactive rationales with enlightened self-interest and image-building activities. In terms of reactive motivations underpinning CSER, the paper finds that companies also report reactively to reduce pressure from powerful stakeholders such as international buyers and government agencies. Contrary to other studies regarding reactive motivations, the authors argue that a director’s proactive motivation is the prime determinant of CSER in a developing country. They also argue that low-level disclosures on workplace environment/human rights need to be given more importance by policymakers, management and other relevant stakeholders. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the study is one of the few engagement-based field studies that uses a mixed-methods approach to seek managerial perspectives in an attempt to understand CSER practices in an emerging country context.

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... Other studies have also tried to examine the factors that influence CSER disclosure in companies, such as company characteristics, corporate governance, and financial ratios (Ali & Rizwan, 2013;Dienes & Velte, 2016;Gunawan, 2013). According to Hossain et al. (2017), CSER will depend on the managerial motivation. Therefore, the implementation of CSEA in a company may depend on the motivation of the company to determine how much the company will contribute to the society. ...
... Gray et al. (2001) defines social and environmental disclosure as "comprising information relating to a corporation's activities, aspirations, and public image with regard to environmental, community, employee and consumer issues". Other definition is stated by Hossain et al.(2017) that CSER refers to "any financial or non-financial disclosure made by firms on the social and environmental effects of their business", and remains mostly a voluntary activity. Muslichah (2020) explains that social disclosure is "published information related to human welfare", such as education, economics, and health of the local community, and she also defines environmental disclosure as "a collection of information related to environmental management activities in past, present and future" such as how company preserves the environment. ...
... The previous studies have described the implementation of CSER in several countries. Using Stakeholder Theory, Hossain et al. (2017) study the motivation of companies in Bangladesh in disclosing CSER. Based on the findings, they argue that the disclosure conducted by the companies are motivated by self-interest and imagebuilding. ...
... A later study was conducted by Hermingway and Maclagan (2004) concluded that an individual manager's personal values have a direct impact on CSER practices (and policy). A recent study by Hossain et al. (2017) examine the CSER practices in Bangladesh. They found that the Bangladesh listed companies reported reactively to meet the pressure from significant stakeholders (e.g. ...
... This finding is in line with theoretical foundations of CSER reporting and disclosure, claiming that firms with multinational ownership concentration have a higher tendency to properly and effectively disclose various aspects of CSER (Majeed et al., 2015). Particularly, Kuada and Hinson (2012) and Hossain et al. (2017) noted that CSER decisions of foreign-owned firms are mainly guided by legal and regulatory prescriptions. Nevertheless, these disclosure practices by foreign-owned companies are not necessarily diffused overtime to local firms due to the host market characteristics or specific subsidiary endowments (Jamali, 2010). ...
... From the results evidence, an important fact has emerged that the low level of CSER activities and therefore subsequent reporting in the Libyan Oil and Gas context by numbers companies shows a lack of impact by national or international requirements in promoting CSER activities, the activity relying mainly on the motivation of individual managers to respond to such requirements. All Oil and Gas companies in Libya are expected to be either ethically or legally required to disclose CSER information (Hossain et al., 2017). Regarding to the results, the compliance of Oil and Gas companies to spending the budget for the CSER activities is more to be regarded with suspicion. ...
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The purpose of the study is to investigate the management behaviour in reporting CSER activities and the factors that influence their decision behaviour in the case of Libyan Oil and Gas industry. For this purpose, in-depth interviews were conducted with 9 managers working in Oil and Gas industry in Libya. The transcribed interviews were then analyzed using thematic approach. The findings revealed that the managers recognize companies' social and environment responsibility, on a self-motivation basis as well as due to the potential negative impacts of a company's operations on the environment and society. On the other hand, the oil and gas companies deem themselves obliged to report their CSER practices due to the increased awareness about the potential negative impacts of the oil and gas industry. Nevertheless, the disclosure of these practices is still limited due to the lack of a comprehensive framework that sets all CSER requirements for Libyan companies. It is noteworthy that this is the first study that focuses on the management behavior in reporting CSER activities in the Libyan oil and gas industry. Hence, it makes a great contribution and lays the foundation for the future studies in the CSER area. Keywords: Social and Environmental Reporting, Managerial Perception, Developing Economies, Oil and Gas Industry JEL Classifications: Q43, Q52, Q54, M14, L71 DOI: https://doi.org/10.32479/ijeep.10821
... Additionally, Flammer (2013) discovered that external factors (i.e., regulations and related issues) could influence CSER improvements. Meanwhile, Hossain et al. (2017) argued that the motivations of CSER could be underpinned by a proactive or reactive strategy. Hence, this study will explore the role of both corporate social and environmental strategies (proactive and reactive) on CSER implementation. ...
... This study used the interview items built with combinative knowledge from previous studies. For instance, the instrument of corporate social and environmental strategy replicated some prior studies (Galbreath, 2009;Wagner et al., 2009;Groza et al., 2011;Torugsa et al., 2013;Sambasivan et al., 2013;Dahlander & Piezunka, 2014;Hossain et al., 2017) to determine the level of proactivity or reactivity of firms' strategy through the integration of several basic principles in terms of social and environmental management into their overall business strategy. ...
... This study adopted the six indicators as suggested by Hossain et al. (2017), namely: 1) community development; 2) governance policy; 3) communication strategy; 4) product/service responsibility; 5) workplace; and 6) natural environment, to identify the CSER practices among six plantation companies. The detailed analysis of CSER practices for each of the companies is presented in Table 2. √ √ √ √ √ √ c) Discloses CSER in annual report and its official website √ √ √ √ √ √ d) There is detailed information of GRI content index in the reporting √ X X √ X X 4) Product and Service Responsibility a) Maintains health and safety products i. ...
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This study aims to investigate how corporate social and environmental strategy can contribute to corporate social and environmental reporting (CSER) in the plantation industry in Indonesia. This study employed a case study approach by using semi–structured interviews to collect data from Indonesian plantation companies listed in the Indonesia Stock Exchange (IDX) and state–owned plantation companies that included CSER in their annual report. The motivation of CSER implementation in Indonesian plantation companies was influenced by proactive and reactive strategies. The corporate social and environmental strategy of proactive principles would publish CSER due to the social discretion beyond the regulatory requirements or pressure of certain stakeholders, and prior to any negative information being received by the public. Moreover, the corporate social and environmental strategy of reactive principles would also publish CSER to meet stakeholders’ needs and demands, obtain good corporate image and reputation, and avoid negative impacts (e.g., harm, hazards, mishap, complaints, etc.). Therefore, corporate social and environmental strategy can contribute to CSER depending on whether the company has proactive or reactive principles. This research contributes to the knowledge of social accounting literature in which CSER practices can be influenced by corporate social and environmental strategy.
... Some important insights are provided by researchers that have explored the perception of non-managerial stakeholders. Different studies of Belal and Roberts 2010;Nurunnabi 2016;Hossain et al. 2017;Masud et al. 2017Masud et al. , 2018aMajeed et al. 2015;Mahmood et al. 2018;Malik and Kanwal 2016;Goel 2018;Hu andLoh 2018, Masud andHossain 2012, confirms that stakeholders favoured mandatory reporting and consider SR as an important mechanism to discharge accountability in a democratic and transparent manner. Stakeholders view the current practice as having failed to meet expectations. ...
... On the other hand, institutional theory broadly explain the importance of voluntary or mandatory regulation and standard that is the way of organisational isomorphism. Our argument is consistent with the lines of stakeholder and institutional point of view as well as the findings of Hossain et al. 2017;Mahmood et al. 2018;Masud et al. 2018a, b. Moreover, the most recent study of Khan et al. 2019 andMahmood et al. 2018 found that board diversity (women board member, age, nationality, tenure) and the CSR committee has a significant impact in the sustainability disclosure of Pakistan. ...
... There is evidence that mandatory regulative forces have significant effects on SR practices. Masud et al. 2018a, b, 2017and Hossain et al. 2017; Gatti et al. 2018;Goel 2018 (India) and Bissoon 2018 (Mauritius) documents that specific regulation significantly influenced green and CSR disclosure practices in Bangladesh; India and Mauritius respectively. Moreover, Masud et al. 2018a, b andBae et al. 2018 found that South Asian countries updated corporate governance and SR regulation explicitly and implicitly enhance social and environmental disclosure practice and the argument is also consistent with Mahmood et al. 2018;Ehsan et al. 2018;Yunis et al. 2018 andIqbal et al. 2018 (Pakistan). ...
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The purpose of this paper is to explore the main actors’ views on the current state of sustainability reporting in a developing country context. This qualitative study is based on the interviews of 20 individuals and organizations from Pakistan who were identified as main actors involved in the practice of sustainability reporting. This paper draws on the arguments of multiple theoretical frameworks, including legitimacy theory, stakeholders’ theory, institutional theory, political cost theory, and signaling theory. Following a semi-structured interview protocol, main actors were asked to share their views on the drivers and barriers of sustainability reporting, sufficiency, and suitability of sustainability-related regulation and standards, perceived benefits of sustainability reporting, level of stakeholder engagement and transparency. Interviews were then analyzed to compare the viewpoints of different stakeholder groups on various issues. This paper concludes that, like other emerging and developing economies, the practice of sustainability reporting is largely driven by the external forces. Foreign buyers, international professional associations and standard-setting organizations are playing a pivotal role in the emergence and development of sustainability reporting. Sustainability reporting awards also played an important role as they provide the normative basis and intangible benefits for reporting. Despite these external forces driving the emergence and development of SR in Pakistan, the structural and cultural conditions that exist in the societal context of Pakistan significantly impact the disclosure practices and organizational rationales for SR. In particular, weak government structures, lack of awareness and interest in sustainability matters, lack of regulation, lack of enforcement capabilities, lack of a political will has been identified as the main barriers of SR. The paper explores the perceptions of both managerial and non-managerial stakeholders regarding the current state of sustainability reporting in Pakistan.
... The National Environment Management Action Plan (NEMAP), 1995 includes identification of major environmental issues and action to minimize environmental degradation improving natural environment by conserving biodiversity. The different international organization also helps financially by providing a fund for implementing environmental regulations in Bangladesh namely DANIDA, SIDA, USAID, CIDA etc. [22]. ...
... K is a rate constant, the value found for BOD removal K 20 = 180 m/year = 0.5 m/day for subsurface wetland and θ is constant and the value is 1.1 [22][23][24][25]. This area for subsurface wetland is calculated with 30% BOD reduction from the septic tank. ...
... C 8 = total debt × annual interest rate (22) Total cost, TC = C 1 + C 2 + C 3 + C 4 + C 5 + C 6 + C 7 + C 8 (23) cUnit treatment cost, UC = ∑ (24) In which, ∑ is the total amount of treated wastewater. The depreciation rate is 5% (equipment 5.33%, sewage pipeline 3.2%, automatic control equipment 9.6%, main structure 3.2%), heavy repair rate is 2%, and maintenance rate 1% [42][43][44][45][46][47][48][49][50][51][52]. ...
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In this paper, a decentralized low-cost water treatment plant is designed using empirical equations. From the analysis of water quality of Bangladesh, it is seen that the standard level of water quality is not maintained in Bangladesh. First, the primary treatment plant is designed including septic tank and anaerobic pond design. But only primary plant is not enough for the removal of impurities, for this reason secondary treatment plant is designed considering Facultative pond, wetland and sand filter. Wetland and facultative pond can remove almost 70% of N and 55-60% of P. The designed plant has an efficiency of 65% in both N and P removal and the effluent amount will be 8.1 mg/L and 1.5 mg/L respectively. The other parameters like arsenic and BOD are also discussed in this paper. Finally, a detailed feasibility analysis of the plant is discussed including environmental impact, technical analysis and installation and running cost. The installation cost of the plant is around 650-700 dollar, whereas a conventional water treatment plant costs 2000-3000 dollar approximately. The designed plant is very much compatible for a big family or two – three small families. Finally, some recommendations are provided which may be considered as future research work.
... Green reporting practices have been increasing in developing countries such as Bangladesh in the last few years. Prior research studies outlined that the absence of specific guidelines, weaker stakeholder engagement, and lack of social awareness are reasons for poor green reporting performance in Bangladesh [6,54,55]. Hossain et al. [21] reveal that Bangladeshi banking companies' green disclosure level is poor even though it has improved since 2011 due to the initiatives of the central bank green guidelines. The most recent work of Bose et al. [20] documented that green reporting of the banking sector of Bangladesh is gradually increasing due to BB's regulatory initiatives. ...
... Researchers also used a mixed approach in the past in the reporting analysis. Hossain et al. [54] and Nurunnabi [6] used interview and content techniques for environmental reporting. Moreover, in the content analysis techniques, general disclosure of content is mostly used in sustainability reporting. ...
... The report shows the strength of GRI reporting. On the other hand, Bose et al. [20] and Hossain et al. [54] expressed concern about the quality of green disclosure in Bangladesh. Furthermore, Masud et al. [8] conducted a content analysis of reports consistent with BB's green guidelines to find out that, comparatively, banks disclosed less information on environmental appreciation, waste management, climate change, and global warming issues. ...
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Green reporting and green regulation have been commonly used in the sustainability movement. This study evaluates Bangladesh Bank’s (BB’s) green regulation by considering the global reporting initiative (GRI) of environmental regulation along with self-determined content to justify BB’s institutional effort in the banking sector. The analytical study has considered secondary data of all listed banks on the Dhaka Stock Exchange between 2013 to 2016. A multi-theoretical framework has been adopted in which the research is comprised of institutional, stakeholder, and legitimacy theories. Considering the analytical research, we have drawn-up a green reporting score and undertaken SWOT analysis. The results of the study have identified the narrow coverage of BB’s regulation and strategic limitations. Moreover, the findings of the study show that banking companies disclosed more green information in line with BB’s regulation. Furthermore, our analysis has found the lack of transparency of green reporting in terms of absent global reporting as well as external verification. Additionally, we have documented that BB’s regulation falls into a legitimacy threat owing to political, corporate, and social responsibility. Therefore, we concluded that for BB to overcome all possible weaknesses and threats, it should consider all possible opportunities for a holistic international reporting framework while taking into account a transparent financial sector.
... Sustainability reporting (hereafter SR) is a process where organisations report social, environmental and economic information of the business through different reporting techniques (Buhr et al., 2014). Organisations or the business firms report their sustainable activities for gaining some managerial and social advantages (Jamali, 2008 andbel et al., 2009) and it is voluntarily performed by the organisations (Hossain et al., 2017), though organisations face some pressure from their stakeholders to perform SR (Day and Woodward, 2009). ...
... On the other hand, by examining SR performance of 30 listed banks in DSE Ullah and Rahman (2015) found that banks disclosed on average 47.39% of their 97 selected items. Moreover, Hossain et al. (2017) demonstrated that on average 48.67% SR items in six different categories were disclosed by the selected companies in DSE. ...
... Their findings also depict that multinational companies (MNCs) are more efficient to manage a large number of stakeholders and managers of MNCs focus on building trust with stakeholders for the overall stability of the firms and protect firms from risk of environmental change. Hossain et al. (2017) also contend that corporate characteristics e.g. highly ownership concentration, lack of shareholders involvement, dominance of family members in board influence the disclosure practices of firms in Bangladesh and business firms are more concentrated to oblige the rules of tax authorities rather than to investors or other stakeholders needs. ...
Thesis
Sustainability reporting has become a significant issue in the corporate world in line with the economic development of business firms. However, it has not been more expanded in the banking sector and research on sustainability reporting in context of developing countries, e.g. Bangladesh is inadequate. A very few studies in context of banks in Bangladesh were conducted based on a standard reporting framework, e.g. Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and these studies concluded inconsistent findings. This study aims to explore the present sustainability reporting practices of top 10 listed banks in Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE), the first and the largest stock exchange in Bangladesh, in accordance with GRI guidelines and to compare this with the performance of top 10 listed banks in London Stock Exchange (LSE) to find out the overall development of sustainability reporting in Bangladesh. This study has been developed based on objectivist philosophical assumptions and deductive research approach was used on the basis of stakeholder and legitimacy theoretical framework. The data were collected from the annual reports and sustainability reports of banks of 2017 through content analysis based on a sustainability reporting checklist of 125 items under seven categories in accordance with GRI G4 guidelines. The research questions were addressed based on multiple figures, descriptive statistical analysis and Mann-Whitney U test. The findings indicate that among the top 10 banks in Bangladesh only two banks report sustainable information in accordance with GRI G4 and on average 31.84% of GRI G4 items were disclosed by the selected banks in DSE, where the highest disclosure was found on general disclosure category and the least disclosure was found on environment category. The study also found that sustainability disclosure practices of banks in Bangladesh is highly influenced by the powerful stakeholder group and there is poor legitimisation of their activities to the society. Finally, the study found that the sustainability disclosure practices of banks in DSE and LSE are almost similar in five categories but in environment and society categories there are significant differences where LSE listed banks disclose more information than DSE listed banks in these two disclosure categories. This study contributes to the overall development of sustainability reporting in Bangladesh. It helps to know about the present status of sustainability reporting of banks in Bangladesh and to assess the appropriateness of this by comparing the sustainability performance of banks in United Kingdom. The implications of this study are to help the regulatory authority of banks in Bangladesh to develop sustainability reporting framework for banks and to provide guidelines for stakeholders to understand sustainable activities of banks and to take necessary decisions.
... There has been an increasing interest in understanding corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in both developing and developed countries (Nuswantara & Pramesti, 2020;Masum et al., 2019a;Hossain et al., 2017;Islam & Deegan, 2010;Pinto & Allui, 2020;Lantos, 2002). In recent days, business organizations not only operate to earn profit but also operate to serve society. ...
... It is a matter of hope that some good performer company discloses CSR relate information in their annual reports, and some of the business organization disclose stand-alone CSR reports but most of them are issued due to legislative requirements. Hossain et al. (2017) first explored the motivations for CSER in line with proactive and reactive motivations through interviews and frames its findings using stakeholder theory. To provide a more holistic view, content analysis adapted from CSR Asia categorization (broadly guided by GRI) was conducted to enhance findings from engagement-based interviews with managers. ...
... Achieving consistent CSR practices across global operations involves not only the transfer of the CSR practice but also the transfer of its underlying value and meaning. The considerable empirical studies in the field of CSR are the study of Hossain et al. (2017), Deegan (2008, 2010), Alam and Deb (2010), and Masum et al. (2019aMasum et al. ( , 2020. ...
Article
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This study aims at exploring the corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in the listed companies of Bangladesh. One hundred eighty-two different companies from fifteen different sectors have been selected as a sample. A weighted disclosure index having fifty-two items has been applied to ensure the degree of CSR practices of the sample companies. Each of the content has been assigned a three-scale value starting from zero to two. After that, eight dimensions of CSR are identified from CSR literature and have been evaluated by the predetermined disclosure index. Finally, a composite CSR disclosure (CSRD) score has been computed to measure the extent of CSR practices of the sample companies. The findings of the study reveal a poor CSRD score by the sample companies. Besides, it has been found that the listed companies provide more CSR activities on employee-related issues and community service-related issues while the listed companies provide less information on energy-related CSRD and customer-related CSRD in the context of Bangladesh. The findings of the study imply that the government and the regulatory authority should give more attention to develop a harmonized standards or policies to measure the degree of CSR practices for comparative purposes.
... The results of their study revealed that managers' major motivation for social reporting practices lies in a desire on the part of corporate management to manage powerful stakeholder groups such as multinational companies. Hossain et al. (2017) has also conducted a case study on listed companies of Bangladesh where he used mixed method-interviews with 20 managers of 100 top listed companies of the country and scrutinized annual report of 2010-2011 of that particular company. He has found that the listed companies are disclosed some information on community or social service related CSR although they found very little information concerning employee related CSR. ...
... This study is different from Rashid (2018) as he used a content analysis of 28 items and had no subdivision of CSR activities. Moreover, like Hossain et al. (2017), he also used annual reports of listed companies from 2001-2010. Whereas in our study, we have used a three scale content analysis having five broad dimensions of CSRD that includes a total fifty seven items. ...
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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) research becomes a burning issue to the academics in the last three decades both in developed and developing countries. This study aims at examining the possible effect of Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures (CSRD) on corporate performances based on five key dimensions of CSR, among the public listed companies in Bangladesh. We have considered the Return on Equity (ROE) and leverage ratio as the proxy of dependent variable-corporate performance. Five dimensions of the CSR practices namely, environment, employee, social and community services, product and customer are considered as the proxy of independent variable-CSRD. To determine the CSRD practices of the listed company a three scale content analysis having fifty seven items has been used. To conduct the study, a sample of 196 Dhaka Stock Exchange (DSE) listed companies from seventeen industries has been scrutinized. In our study, we have found significant relationship between the proxy variables of corporate performances and key dimensions of the CSR practices. We have found that the listed companies disclose more information concerning to the employee related CSRD and less information on environment related CSRD. Out of five proxy variables of CSRD, the employee related CSRD and the environment related CSRD has positive impact on corporate performance while the social and community service related CSRD, product related CSRD and customer related CSRD has no significant relationship on corporate performance. The findings of the study show that CSR practices are value relevant in developing countries like Bangladesh. The findings of the study contribute to the literature of CSR in the way that more CSR disclosing companies are performing well in recent days. These findings will encourage the corporate people to involve in more CSR activities as it ensures the sustainability of corporate performances.
... Numerous studies that identify the determinants of CSR communication appear in a variety of economic sectors (Bollas-Araya et al., 2018;Chakroun et al., 2017;Darus et al., 2016;Dyduch & Krasodomska, 2017;Gamerschlag et al., 2011;Hossain et al., 2017;Kühn et al., 2018;Nikolaeva & Bicho, 2011;Tan et al., 2016;Tarquinio & Rossi, 2017;Utgård, 2018). All these studies focus on large corporations and, overall, identify either some company characteristics (including industry affiliation) or pressures from various stakeholders as associated with higher or lower levels of CSR implementation and communication. ...
... Studies from sectors outside of hospitality and tourism suggest that pressure from different stakeholder groups influences firms' adoption of CSR and their amount of CSR disclosure (Ali et al., 2017;Gamerschlag et al., 2011;Hossain et al. (2017); Yuen et al., 2018). ...
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By measuring the level of CSR communication carried out by hotels located in the Colombian Caribbean region and identifying the main determinant factors influencing this level (including pressure from the different stakeholders), this paper contributes to deepening our understanding of the antecedents of CSR communication in small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in emerging economies and, particularly, in the hotel industry, for which no previous studies on this topic could be uncovered. The results reveal that the level of CSR disclosure is low in the region and that the size of the hotel, the pressure from government agencies, and the age and educational background of the hotel’s top manager have a significant influence on the level of CSR communication. Results indicate a reactive approach to CSR communication confirming the prominent role played by government agencies, thus contributing to gain a richer understanding of institutional influences on CSR in Latin American countries. In terms of practical implications, findings suggest that governments should play a more active role in stimulating CSR communication in emerging countries, particularly in the case of SMEs.
... These plants have been proposed to draw water from less polluted surface water even though they are distant sources such as rivers. The four plants are expected to have a combined capacity of 1.63 million cubic meters surface water per day, whereas in 2010 the supply of groundwater was 2.11 million cubic meters per day [28][29][30]. ...
... Calculations are found in Appendix-1. Table 3 shows concentration in effluents and influents [20][21][22][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34][35][36][37][38][39]. BOD in the influent is calculated from an empirical equation (Appendix-1), for influent BOD, C0 =1000 B/QD, BOD contribution per day (B) is assumed to 40 g/capita/day for medium-sized communities [39]. ...
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Waste water treatment is an important issue because of lessening water resources. The primary reason for waste water treatment process is to expel the different constituents of the polluting load: solids, natural carbon, supplements, inorganic salts, metals, pathogens and so on. In this paper, mainly decentralized method is considered as a solution. A new rural wastewater treatment process is introduced with proper planning and designing by using empirical equations. This paper exhibits the waste water treatment technologies present in Bangladesh, to expel contaminants from wastewater, for example, halogenated hydrocarbon mixes, overwhelming metals, colors, pesticides, and herbicides, which speak to the fundamental toxins in waste water. This research shows that the proposed decentralized system is more feasible economically and environmentally (about 75% BOD removal), since the centralized system needs modern machineries and high initial investment. To design a sustainable wastewater treatment system for developing area, further assessment on environmental, health, social and institutional aspects are recommended.
... The CSR disclosure initiatives gain significant importance and development in developed states due to their patron's and awareness. This trend attaining value in emerging economies and the studies of South Asian region (Hossain et al., 2017) explores the increasing trend of CSR disclosures in the region. ...
Article
Purpose This study aims to examine the key determinants of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure of all listed banks that operate their function in an emerging market, Pakistan. Design/methodology/approach This study applied the principles of systems-oriented theories such as legitimacy, stakeholder and agency theory. The hypothesis is linking the bank’s social disclosure and its determinants are developed. The relevant data was gathered from the bank’s annual reports and Pakistan Stock Exchange from 2008 to 2018. Further, governance attributes and performance measures are used as the predictor variable and the CSR score as the predicted variable. This study applied panel data analysis on the sampled banks to examine the proposed hypothesis for empirical estimation. Findings This study’s inclusive results confirm that the hypothesized determinants of board size, foreign directors on board and female directors on board positively impact the CSR disclosure potential. Board size significantly explains the CSR disclosure in all bank samples. The determined performance measures, profitability and liquidity show a significant positive relationship with CSR disclosure except for few exceptions. Research limitations/implications This study’s results lack generalizability due to its unique setting; future researchers can extend the research scope in national–international settings and a regional context. Practical implications This study enriches the literature on CSR disclosure determinants and is relevant to practice in an emerging context. It can be helpful from a policy perspective; institutions (bodies) that regulate banks should recognize the governance and performance aspects essential to enhancing CSR disclosure and enhancing the bank’s performance hence value. Originality/value This research offers empirical evidence that sheds light on the key governance attributes and performance measures that partially affect CSR disclosure and its extent. In doing so, this study’s findings contribute to the literature significantly, along with regulators, shareholders, deposit holders, individual–institutional investors.
... According to Pisani et al. (2017), less than 10% of the CSR literature primarily focuses on developing countries, potentially due to less public pressure on firms to report CSR practices in developing countries (Ali 2017), thus reducing the availability of CSR data for scholarly research. In line with this assumption, research finds that firms in developing countries tend to report CSR practices only reluctantly upon pressure from powerful stakeholders such as government agencies (Hossain et al. 2017) and international stakeholders (Jamali et al. 2017). ...
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Background Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been studied extensively in developed countries. However, although most of the world’s consumers live in developing countries, the study of CSR in developing countries in general, and in Bolivia in particular, still is very limited. Developing countries are characterized by widespread poverty, corruption, inequality, social exploitation, and environmental pollution and, consequently, offer abundant opportunities for CSR. In addition, research on CSR in developing countries has the potential to promote equality, social justice, transparency, and accountability by holding frequently irresponsible local and international organizations to account. For that purpose, this study explores the nature of CSR practices and their effectiveness in influencing consumer attitudes in Bolivia as the least developed among the developing countries in the Americas. To this end, this study uses data collected in Bolivia through both structured surveys (quantitative data) and unstructured questionnaires/in-depth interviews (qualitative data). Using structural equation modeling of the quantitative data on two product categories and multiple brand contexts from 1016 consumers, this study tests a series of hypotheses on the consequences of CSR practices in developing countries. The results indicate that CSR practices exert both a direct influence on customer satisfaction and an indirect, mediated influence on customer loyalty. Moreover, the results of qualitative data analysis suggest that multinational companies and young managers are leading the way in implementing CSR practices in Bolivia. Managerial implications are discussed.
... Similarly, a study by Hossain et al. (2012) reveals that some of the key barriers are absence of a regulatory framework, tendency towards non-compliance with laws, socioeconomic problems, a lack of awareness and education in sustainable development and a lack of initiatives from the government. A recent study by Hossain et al. (2017) finds that companies tend to undertake social and environmental reporting as reactive measure to mitigate pressure from key stakeholders such as international buyers. Also, they argue that company directors' involvement is also a prominent factor that determines the level of such reporting in developing countries. ...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the barriers for sustainability reporting practices in five different countries in the Indo-Pacific region. Design/methodology/approach This paper uses surveys and semi-structured interviews to explore the main barriers faced by the managers of listed companies in undertaking sustainability reporting. Findings The findings of the study reveal that the main barriers for sustainability reporting are attributable to lack of knowledge and understanding, additional cost involved, time constraints, lack of awareness and education in sustainability reporting and a lack of initiatives from government. These vary between three groups of countries: those with more developed reporting, those with less developed reporting and those with strong cultural constraints to reporting. Research limitations/implications This study adapts Lewin’s field theory and three-step model of change to be applied to group dynamics at a broader country level rather than at an organisational level. Practical implications The barriers identified in this paper are important for reporting companies to come up with strategies to mitigate existing barriers and for regulatory authorities to provide subsidies and other incentives to supplement the efforts of these listed companies. Also, non-reporting companies could use the findings as a measure of cautiousness to set up the necessary processes to have a smooth sustainability reporting process in their companies. Originality/value This is one of the few studies that explore the barriers for sustainability reporting in five countries in the Indo-Pacific region.
... However, all the companies deal with pollution preventive activities and that is the degree of environmental accounting. Hossain et al. (2017) found that company generally disclose "community investment and development" and "governance codes and policies" mostly, while the least amount of disclosure was found in the "workplace/human rights" category. Companies also report reactively to reduce pressure from powerful stakeholders such as international buyers and government agencies. ...
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The purpose of the study is to review the extent of corporate environmental disclosures and factors influencing corporate environmental reporting related researches around the world. According to the objective, a number of research papers from 1996 to 2020 of different researchers have been reviewed systematically. Most of the studies are based on within country and most of them are conducted with secondary data sources. The previous researcher mainly focused on the company specific factors and corporate governance factors as determinants. In this study, the number of research papers considered in this review is limited. This study will let the regulators compare the environmental disclosures level with other developed countries and the regulators can take necessary steps to improve the level of environmental reporting considering influencing factors. This paper is useful to identify the gap for new research in this area.
... A literature review on this topic postulates that even though institutional theory has been used as a recent perspective to understand CSR as well as providing useful inputs in terms of understanding sustainable auditing and reporting, the truth is that it complements both stakeholder and legitimacy theories in understanding how organizations generate, maintain, develop, and capitalize on legitimacy by recognizing and replying to the accelerating and changing social and institutional demands and expectations (Deegan & Unerman, 2006;Hossain, Momin, Rowe, & Quaddus, 2017;Rahaman, Lawrence, & Roper, 2004;Unerman & Bennett, 2004). In a very interesting contribution, Amran & Haniffa (2011) interpret sustainable reporting through institutional theory with the goal of ascertaining its possible determinants. ...
Chapter
Economic activity is an important area in terms of innovation and sustainable development, and the instruments and mechanisms of the financial market are gaining new value for financing these particularly complex processes and with many challenges for stakeholders (Stancu & Iacovoiu, 2015; Iacovoiu & Stancu, 2017). Globally, the financial market is crucial to the smooth operation of capitalist economies, as it provides a regulated platform for trading all types of assets or securities, such as stocks, bonds, foreign currency, and derivatives (Johnson et al., 2003; Duffie, 2014). Financial market comprise banking, insurance, and capital markets. The capital market segment provides a platform for buyers and sellers (as individuals and institutions) to trade financial securities such as bonds and stocks (The Economic Times, 2021). The money market, by contrast, is the platform for trading in financial instruments, essentially commercial papers with high liquidity and short-term maturities (The Economic Times, 2021). The globalization and emergence of digitaltechnologies are disrupting all facets of the global economy, including financial market operations and instruments (Brezeanu et al., 2005; Stancu et al., 2017). Consequently, the financial market is one of the most attractive and constantly changing areas of economic life, continually pursuing the improvement and accessibility of instruments offered to investors, adapting these products to the needs of users through the emergence of new financial products, simplifying trading activities, reducing trading costs, and so on.
... Environmental reporting refers to any financial or nonfinancial disclosure made by firms on their business's social and environmental effects and remains mostly a voluntary activity EJMBE (Hossain et al., 2017;Parker, 2005). It has become increasingly relevant to enterprises. ...
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Purpose The study seeks to evaluate the extent and quality of environmental reporting following a longitudinal analysis and covering a wide spectrum of industries in a single frame. The study also attempts to identify the set of most favored environmental reporting items by firms and items which are least disclosed. Furthermore, the study attempts to test whether certain corporate attributes such as firm size, age of the firm, leverage ratio, profitability, presence of independent directors in the board and gender diversity have any influencing power over environmental disclosure practices. The whole study has been carried out from legitimacy theory setting. Design/methodology/approach The study follows longitudinal analysis to identify the extent and quality of environmental disclosures. A self-constructed checklist of 12 environmental reporting items has been developed analyzing the annual report and content analysis method is followed to measure the extent and quality of environmental disclosures and identify environmental reporting items which are mostly disclosed and which are least disclosed. The study further uses panel data regression analysis to investigate whether certain corporate attributes have any impact on environmental disclosures using multiple linear regression. Total of 345 annual reports of listed financial and nonfinancial institutions have been observed in this study ranging from 2015 to 2019. Findings The key finding suggests that strict enforcement of Green Banking Rules 2011 fosters country’s commercial banks to invest more to protect the environment and commercial banks encourage nonfinancial institutions for environmental performance and related disclosures through finance. Therefore, almost 50% of sample firms disclose their environmental performance through reporting in either narrative, quantitative or monetary format which was only 2.23% in the last decade. Findings also reveal that tree plantation is the most reported environment disclosure followed by investment in renewable energy and green infrastructural projects and the least reported items are fund allocation for climatic changes and carbon management policy. Further analysis shows that firm size and leverage ratio both have positive impact on environmental reporting. Research limitations/implications An in-depth analysis may be conducted to identify why certain environmental items are least disclosed such as fund allotment for climatic changes, carbon management policy, etc. and how corporations may earn social appreciation and motivation by investing in those least preferred items in legitimacy theory setting. Future research may also take into consideration other corporate attributes which are not considered in the study. Originality/value The study conducted an in-depth analysis to understand the most favored form of environmental disclosures (narrative/quantitative/monetary) and their extent after incorporation of regulatory guidelines, which is the first of its kind in the research of environmental disclosures. The study indeed contributes to the documentation of environmental reporting in the context of a developing country where there is a lack of longitudinal analysis from the lens of legitimacy theory. Moreover, a wide spectrum of industries has been taken into consideration which facilitates the generalized findings on the environmental disclosure practices of corporations in Bangladesh.
... Hossain et al. [48] have approached corporate social and environmental reporting (CSER) practices and motivations in Bangladesh. They found that community investment and development and governance codes and policies categories received the highest amount of disclosure, while the least disclosed was the workplace/human rights category. ...
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The purpose of this paper is to analyse disclosure of environmental information (DEI) for a set of 100 companies listed at the Bucharest Stock Exchange (BSE) and identify possible correlations between this and the evolution of some relevant economic and financial measures of companies’ activities. For these purposes we have calculated an index of environmental information disclosure and we employed a system dynamic panel data estimation model and panel corrected standard errors for sampled companies for the 2013–2017 period. The results we have obtained show that sampled companies have a low degree of environmental information disclosure, as the highest registered score was of 15 out of a maximum of 29 points, with an average of merely 6.37 points. Regarding the possible correlations, the tests performed have shown that entity size, expressed by the number of employees, is the factor which positively influences environmental information’s disclosure. Results also evidence that performance determines the quantity of information the firm provides to external users, as opposed to maturity/age. Our study is the first approaching companies from Bucharest Stock Exchange with data for 5 years using a mixed approach (DEI–index and regressions) and we think the results obtained are useful for managers, general public and investors, considering that size and performance greatly influence companies’ environmental awareness.
... • case studies based on semi-structured interviews plus analysis of internal and/or publicly available documents (Arunachalam et al., 2016;Bui and de Villiers, 2017;Dillard et al., 2010;Egan, 2014;Fallan, 2015;Ferreira, 2017;Fraser, 2012;Gunarathne et al., 2016;Hossain et al., 2017;Kotonen, 2009;Länsiluoto and Järvenpää, 2010;Lauwo et al., 2016;Luque-Vílchez and Larrinaga, 2016); Alongside the increased use of multiple data sources some authors have experimented with novel approaches to engagement research in sustainability accounting and performance. Adams and McNicholas (2007) in the 2007 special issue conducted an action research case study, an approach which has since been used by Bessire and Onnée (2010), Chung and Windsor (2012) and Horváth et al. (2014), among others. ...
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review the development of engagement research in pursuit of improved sustainability accounting and performance and to identify issues in the further development of this field. In particular, the authors consider the implications of this research for practice, policy and theory following the publication of a special issue on the topic in 2007 in the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal. Design/methodology/approach The authors performed a systematic review of the relevant literature in selected accounting journals for the 11 year period 2007–2017 inclusive. The authors identified the methods, topics and theories addressed by researchers and the academic journals that are more likely to publish engagement research. Findings The authors found a significant increase in engagement work over the decade since publication of the special issue and a marked increase in the volume and complexity of data collected in studies. There is a marked difference in the openness of different journals to engagement research and the type of engagement research published across accounting journals. Contrary to the argument made by critics of engagement research the authors found that this field of research not only uses theory, but develops theory. Research limitations/implications Through the examination of methods and theories used and topics considered, the authors identify avenues for further research – and the journals likely to be receptive to it. Practical implications The study demonstrates that the collective body of engagement research aimed at improving sustainability accounting and performance has significant potential to inform practice and policy developments with the same aim. Originality/value The study examines an emerging approach in an emerging field of research with significant academic, practice and policy potential.
... According to Pisani et al. (2017), less than 10% of the CSR literature primarily focuses on developing countries, potentially due to less public pressure on firms to report CSR practices in developing countries (Ali 2017), thus reducing the availability of CSR data for scholarly research. In line with this assumption, research finds that firms in developing countries tend to report CSR practices only reluctantly upon pressure from powerful stakeholders such as government agencies (Hossain et al. 2017) and international stakeholders (Jamali et al. 2017). ...
Conference Paper
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been studied extensively in developed countries. However, although most of the world's consumers live in developing countries, the study of CSR in developing countries in general, and in Bolivia in particular, still is very limited. Developing countries are characterized by widespread poverty, corruption, inequality, social exploitation, and environmental pollution and, consequently, offer abundant opportunities for CSR. In addition, research on CSR in developing countries has the potential to promote equality, social justice, transparency, and accountability by holding frequently irresponsible local and international organizations to account. For that purpose, this study explores the nature of CSR practices and their effectiveness in influencing consumer attitudes in Bolivia as the least developed among the developing countries in the Americas. To this end, this study uses data collected in Bolivia using both structured surveys (quantitative data) and unstructured questionnaires / in-depth interviews (qualitative data). Using structural equation modeling of the quantitative data on two product categories and multiple brand contexts from 1016 consumers, this study tests a series of hypotheses on the consequences of CSR practices in developing countries. The results indicate that CSR practices exert a direct influence on customer satisfaction and on indirect, mediated influence on customer loyalty. Moreover, the results of qualitative data analysis suggest that multinational companies and young managers are leading the way in implementing CSR practices in Bolivia. Managerial implications are discussed.
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to review and assess Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal (SAMPJ)’s contributions to the body of sustainability disclosure research. Design/methodology/approach The authors review the 31 sustainability disclosure-themed articles published in SAMPJ up through Volume 8 (2017) and assess the strengths and weaknesses of the body of research, as well as its contributions to the understanding of the reporting phenomenon. Findings The assessment by the authors suggests SAMPJ has been very inclusive with respect to methods and topics, although we note certain areas where future research could be expanded. Research limitations/implications The authors limit the review to articles in SAMPJ, so they cannot assess the degree to which the general findings as to trends might reflect the overall body of sustainability disclosure research. Practical implications The review provides suggestions for where researchers looking to publish in SAMPJ might focus so as to enhance the overall body of knowledge. Social implications The primary social implication is that the preponderance of the evidence in the articles the authors review suggests that sustainability disclosure remains incomplete, biased and driven by concerns with legitimation. As such, it provides more evidence in support of the need for better regulation and enforcement. Originality/value While prior studies have summarized aspects of social and environmental accounting in general or with regard to specific journals, none has assessed the contributions specifically to sustainability disclosure research through this journal.
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Corporate governance has progressed beyond just saving money or maintaining a good reputation; it is also aims to integrate company values with the sustainability agenda. The top management of most companies is beginning to perceive the sustainability agenda as necessary. Hence, this study aimed to examine the impact of corporate governance on the sustainability performance of firms during the pre-and post-Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adoption periods. The researchers critically selected, identified, organized, and analysed the data from WoS and Scopus based on the keyword of this study. After screening the data, about 78 publications were chosen, of which 60 publications were from Web of Science (WoS), and 18 publications are from Scopus. The result found that the impact of corporate governance on sustainability performance revealed a 96% positive relationship and 4% negative relationship between corporate governance and sustainability performance. The outcome of the systematic literature review of corporate governance and sustainable performance indicated a pattern that can be used by organizations and researchers to improve research quality and fill the gaps from past research.
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Purpose This paper investigates the market response to the poor quality of reporting on the first mandated set of conflict minerals disclosures in the US setting. The authors examine the reaction for both filing firms at their filing date and non-filing companies at the filing deadline. Design/methodology/approach The authors use standard market model methods to capture investor response and test for differences across reactions using comparisons of means and regression models. The authors also code reports for a sub-sample of firms and test for the relation between disclosure and market reactions. Findings The authors document a significant negative reaction for both filing and non-filing firms, with the latter group suffering a more negative reaction than the filers. The authors also find more extensive disclosure is associated with less negative market reactions. Finally, the authors provide evidence supporting the argument that the more pronounced reaction for the non-filers is due to concerns with incremental implementation costs for these firms. Research limitations/implications The results extend prior research into investor perceptions of exposures to social and political costs. The findings suggest that investors view both poor quality disclosure and lack of response to mandated requirements as increasing such exposures. Practical implications The negative market response could be expected to exert additional pressures on companies to better assess and report on conflict mineral exposures in their supply chains. Social implications The findings suggest investors pay attention to the corporate response to mandated social disclosure requirements, an important finding as mandates for similar types of disclosure appear to be in the offing. Originality/value This study is the first to extend the social and political cost exposure literature to analysis of mandated social disclosures.
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Purpose This paper aims to investigate the impact of board composition on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting in the Gulf countries. Despite the vast literature on the significance of ESG disclosure on firms’ performance, trust and reputation, there are relatively few studies on the influence of board structure on ESG disclosure in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Gulf countries are witnessing a fast growing capital markets and having serious efforts to attract foreign investments to divert their economies from the oil and gas reliance. This could be facilitated by illustrating firms’ good citizenship and communicating the fulfillment of their social obligation. Design/methodology/approach The study examines publically listed companies between 2008 and 2017. Thomson Reuter’s database is used to collect the ESG disclosure scores and governance information. The authors apply multiple panel data regressions and sensitivity testing to ensure the robustness of the results. Findings Examining publically listed companies for a 10-year period shows that higher board independence and female board participation facilitate the transmission of a firm’s positive image by improving social responsibility. Independent boards of directors and participation among women serve as catalysts to strike an effective balance between firms’ financial targets and social responsibilities. In contrast, boards chaired by chief executive officers are less supportive in executing a social agenda and consequently reporting their ESG activities. Practical implications The results suggest that firms that appoint a sustainability and/or governance committee tend to engage in more impactful social and environmental activities and communicate their societal engagements more effectively. Social implications The paper recommends that policymakers, executives and shareholders in the GCC countries support board participation among women, independent directors and formation of sustainability committees to facilitate engaging in effectual social activities. Originality/value Empirical evidence regarding the relationship between board composition and ESG disclosure in the Gulf countries is limited. Prior literature mainly provides results on developed countries in which the governance system is mature and well structured. This study provides useful evidence regarding the Gulf countries that lack privatization and where corporate boards tend to be dominated by families and governments.
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ABSTRACT Background: Sustainable corporate reporting becomes a burning issue in the world but literature in the context of a developing country is still in the take-off stage. Purpose: The study is conducted to add value in sustainability literature by exploring the factors influencing sustainable corporate reporting in developing country context. Methodology: A sample of 40 listed companies of DSE has been considered to examine the effect of board characteristics and organisational characteristics on sustainability reporting. An un-weighted index based on GRI has been developed. Results: It has been found that the age of the company, earning per share and foreign members on board have a significant positive impact on sustainability reporting while for the other variables we do not found any significant association. Conclusion: The outcome of the study will help the corporate peoples to dungeon their concentration on factors stimulating to perform sustainable activities and encourage them to disclose more sustainable information. KEYWORDS: Sustainable Reporting, Board Characteristics, Corporate Characteristics & Sustainable Development
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore how sustainability reporting is shaped by the global influences and particular national context where businesses operate. Design/methodology/approach The paper uses both content analysis of published sustainability information and semi-structured interviews with corporate managers to explore how sustainability reporting is used to address unique social and environmental challenges in a developing country – Sri Lanka. The use of integrative social contracts theory in investigating sustainability reporting offers novel insights into understanding the drivers for sustainability reporting practices in this particular country. Findings The findings reveal that managers’ perceptions about usefulness of sustainability reporting, local contextual challenges and global norms influence the extent to which companies engage in sustainability reporting and the nature of sustainability information reported. In particular, Sri Lankan company managers strive to undertake sustainability projects that are beneficial not only to their companies but also to the development of the country. However, while company managers in Sri Lanka are keen to undertake sustainability reporting, they face different tensions/expectations between global expectations and local contextual factors when undertaking sustainability projects and reporting. This is also showcased in what is ultimately reported in company annual reports, where some aspects of sustainability, e.g. social, tend to focus more on addressing local concerns whereas other disclosures are on issues that may be relevant across many contexts. Research limitations/implications Important insights for government and other regulatory authorities can be drawn from the findings of this study. By capitalising on the strong sense of moral duty felt by company managers, policymakers can involve the business sector more to mitigate the social and environmental issues prevalent in Sri Lanka. The findings can also be used by other developing countries to enable pathways to engage with the corporate sector to contribute to national development agendas through their sustainability initiatives and projects. Originality/value While the usual understanding of developing country’s company managers is that they try to follow global trends, in Sri Lanka, this research shows how managers are trying to align their responsibilities at a national level with global principles regarding sustainability reporting. Therefore, this paper highlights how both hypernorms and microsocial rules can interact to define how company managers undertake sustainability reporting in a developing country.
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Purpose – This paper develops a conceptual framework for extended external reporting (EER) influences (EERI), including Sustainability, Non-Financial, Integrated, and Value Reporting. Using the Environmental Legitimacy, Accountability, and Proactivity (ELAP) framework as the base, we modify its proposed concepts and linkages using relevant conceptual models, prior reviews, and findings of recent studies on EER. The paper presents contributions of the special issue on “non-financial and integrated reporting, governance and value creation” and avenues for future research. Design/methodology/approach – Drawing on relevant conceptual models, prior reviews, and recent EER studies, we reframed the ELAP framework into a framework that theorises the factors that affects, or are affected by, EER. Findings – The EERI framework poses relationships between and within proactivity, external verification, accountability, and legitimacy. It also consolidates possible determinants and consequences of EER. The papers published in this special issue contribute further insights on factors that influence reporting practices, processes and suggestions for capturing and communicating value creation information, and the value of integrated reports and assurance to capital providers. Originality/value – Along with the insights provided by papers in this special issue, the conceptual framework can be used to theorise influences of EER and guide future research.
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Purpose Using the resource dependence and legitimacy theories, this research aims to examine the relationship between board attributes and human rights reporting, as well as the interaction effect of board chairperson experience on the relationship among listed firms at the Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE). Design/methodology/approach This study collected data from annual reports of firms listed on the NSE from 2009 to 2019 using content analysis to examine how boards influence human rights reporting. A total of 547 firm-year observations were used to test the hypotheses. This study used a hierarchical regression model to examine the relationship. Findings This study found that board attributes are important predictors of human rights reporting. This study shows that both board diversity and board independence have a positive impact on human rights reporting. Furthermore, the interaction results revealed that having a highly experienced chairperson strengthens the effect of board independence on human rights reporting; however, this study found that experienced chairperson reduces the influence of board diversity on human rights reporting. Research limitations/implications The findings suggest that board diversity and independence are essential attributes to which listed companies should pay attention when appointing board members. Moreover, the chairperson's leadership on the board is critical in ensuring that publicly trading companies adopt policies that disclose human rights information. Originality/value This paper provides insights into Kenya's human rights disclosure practices. It also analyzes how boards influence human rights disclosures, an empirical test that has received little attention in the previous literature. This study emphasizes the importance of board members and the chairperson in advocating for human rights reporting to improve corporate sustainability.
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This paper analyses the level of managerial discretion in the practice of disclosing social and environmental information using impression management techniques based on visual rhetoric and associated with the structural dimension of the size of graphics and photographs and the colour of these images and of the animations in the report. From a sample of 105 non‐financial information statements from the 35 Spanish companies that were part of the IBEX 35 in 2018, 2017, and 2013, the results suggest two different impression management strategies used by companies to manage stakeholder's perception, with specific features at the industry level and with different levels of divergence/convergence in the structural dimensions of size or colour according to the level of standardisation in the revealed information.
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This article traces the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) from its post WWII beginnings in popularity up through the end of the 1990s. The article focuses on definitions or understandings of the concept/construct. It does not focus on actual company practices during this time as they were quite varied. (This article has been ranked #1 most read in the Business and Society journal for years now).
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The financial community does not seem to have shifted to greater sustainability, despite increasing awareness and concerns around social and environmental issues. In this paper, we provide insights to help understand why. Building on responsible investment (RI) data from the UK financial press between 1982 and 2010, we examine the collective beliefs which financial actors rely on to take decisions under uncertainty, as a way of understanding the status of and implications for RI mainstreaming. The analysis of collective beliefs through five periods of RI leads us to define two theoretical dimensions – justifying RI and practicing RI—that characterize how mainstream actors collectively make sense of RI. Our analysis reveals that the RI collective beliefs currently (1) do not provide a favorable environment for RI mainstreaming and (2) need to be taken into account when discussing the value of sustainability.
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This study reviews and synthesizes the contemporary business literature that focuses on the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) to enhance firm value. The main objective of this review is to proffer a precise understanding of what has already been investigated and the findings of those investigations regarding the value-enhancing capabilities of CSR for public firms. In addition, this review identifies gaps in the existing literature, evaluates inconsistent findings, discusses possible data sources for empirical researchers, and provides direction for exploring other promising avenues in future studies. The thrust of the CSR literature largely acknowledges the value-enhancing capabilities of firms’ social and environmental activities. However, the predominance of inconsistent theoretical grounds in major CSR-benefits-related areas suggests that there is ample room for future research to contribute to the extant literature. Anecdotal evidence, the prevalence of theoretical arguments, and the availability of large cross-sectional firm-level data suggest that future research will enrich the literature by investigating the real insights behind several unanswered questions, by establishing implicit understandings regarding recognized findings, and by developing new theories in this emerging field.
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Inconsistent findings have resulted from studies of the relationships among social disclosure, social performance, and economic performance of U.S. corporations. No clear tendency can be detected. The main reasons for these inconsistencies are: (a) a lack in theory, (b) inappropriate definition of key terms, and (c) deficiencies in the empirical data bases currently available. Suggestions are made as to how this situation can be improved.
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This study examines the impact of board diversity on firms’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance. Using seven different measures of board diversity across 1,489 U.S. firms from 1999 to 2011, the study finds that board diversity is positively associated with CSR performance. Board diversity is associated with a greater number of areas in which CSR is strong and a fewer number of areas in which CSR is a concern. These findings support the stakeholder theory and are consistent with the view that board diversity enhances firms’ ability to satisfy the needs of their broader groups of stakeholders. We find that gender, tenure, and expertise diversities seem to be the driving factors of firms’ CSR activities. Furthermore, we find that board diversity significantly increases CSR performance by increasing CSR strengths and reducing CSR concerns for firms producing consumer-oriented products and firms operating in more competitive industries. Our results remain robust using different measures of CSR performance, different estimation methods, and different samples.
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This study examines how the corporate social and environmental disclosure (CSD) practices of a sample of gambling companies operating within Australia appears to change around the time of three specific interrelated Australian government initiatives; the Productivity Commission, 1999, Australia's Gambling Industries, Report No. 10, the subsequent establishment of the Ministerial Council on Gambling and the MCG-initiated National Framework on Problem Gambling. Drawing upon three complementary theories, namely legitimacy, stakeholder and institutional theory, our analysis of the extent and type of CSD in the annual reports of gambling companies over a 15 year period suggests that CSD is a response to social pressures created around the time of these initiatives.
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This article presents an empirical investigation into the corporate social reporting practices of listed companies from Bangladesh, where corporate social reporting is a matter of voluntary disclosure. Analysis of annual reports published in 2007 reveals that only 15.45% of listed companies made such disclosures. This article presents an extensive survey of the contents, form, nature, and extent of corporate social reporting practices of listed companies. Analysis over a wide range of industries reveals that companies in the banking sector secure the highest rank in terms of corporate social reporting; three fourths of all disclosures are generalized qualitative statements without any attempt at attestation; more than one half of the disclosures are located in the director's report; and the mean amount of disclosures was less than half a page.
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- This paper describes the process of inducting theory using case studies from specifying the research questions to reaching closure. Some features of the process, such as problem definition and construct validation, are similar to hypothesis-testing research. Others, such as within-case analysis and replication logic, are unique to the inductive, case-oriented process. Overall, the process described here is highly iterative and tightly linked to data. This research approach is especially appropriate in new topic areas. The resultant theory is often novel, testable, and empirically valid. Finally, framebreaking insights, the tests of good theory (e.g., parsimony, logical coherence), and convincing grounding in the evidence are the key criteria for evaluating this type of research.
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Purpose This paper aims to investigate corporate motivations for voluntarily reporting social and environmental information in New Zealand. The approach used in this study also gives the opportunity to gain insights into the internal systems and views of companies and allows the authors to make better judgements of the intentions of companies in undertaking corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. Design/methodology/approach A survey is used and then extended to match corporate survey responses with content analysis results of actual company reporting. The results of the survey and the content analysis are examined both individually and collectively to gather more context for corporate motivations. Findings The authors find that community concerns and shareholder rights were the most important factors that influenced the companies’ decision to report. The driving force for a sustainability agenda within these companies is usually a member of senior management. The authors also find that reporting frameworks and highly formalised internal systems were not frequently used, external assurance of CSR reporting was lacking and there were low levels of stakeholder engagement. A commitment to reporting comprehensive CSR disclosures and accepting responsibility towards a range of stakeholders were, therefore, not in evidence. Research limitations/implications For researchers, the value is in further revising analysis techniques and expanding existing research methods used in this area. The study brings together important CSR topics from across the literature, including reporting levels and characteristics, internal CSR systems, CSR assurance and stakeholder engagement, to investigate the motivation for CSR reporting. Practical implications The results suggest that New Zealand companies are not currently fully committed to social and environmental reporting and that CSR reporting is most likely used to create the impression of being concerned about sustainability to increase legitimacy with stakeholders and society. The results highlight the importance of having formalised systems to ensure that disclosures are accurate and comprehensive. Originality/value The results contribute to the literature by providing a current view of the motivations for reporting companies to report or not report. The approach used gives the opportunity to gain insights into the internal systems and views of companies and allows the authors to make better judgements of the intentions of companies in undertaking CSR reporting.
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Formulating and translating corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy into actual managerial practices and outcome values remain ongoing challenges for many organizations. This paper argues that the human resource management (HRM) function can potentially play an important role in supporting organizations to address this challenge. We argue that HRM could provide an interesting and dynamic support to CSR strategy design as well as implementation and delivery. Drawing on a systematic review of relevant strategic CSR and HRM literatures, this paper highlights the important interfaces between CSR and HRM and develops a conceptual model, the CSR-HRM co-creation model, which accounts for the potential HRM roles in CSR and identifies a range of outcome values resulting from a more effective integration of the role of HRM within CSR. The paper concludes with relevant theoretical and managerial recommendations that advance our understanding of the potential interfaces between HRM and CSR and how HRM can support a systematic and progressive CSR agenda.
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Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach was first published in 1984 as a part of the Pitman series in Business and Public Policy. Its publication proved to be a landmark moment in the development of stakeholder theory. Widely acknowledged as a world leader in business ethics and strategic management, R. Edward Freeman’s foundational work continues to inspire scholars and students concerned with a more practical view of how business and capitalism actually work. Business can be understood as a system of how we create value for stakeholders. This worldview connects business and capitalism with ethics once and for all. On the 25th anniversary of publication, Cambridge University Press are delighted to be able to offer a new print-on-demand edition of his work to a new generation of readers.
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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This paper contributes to the literature on green supply chain management (GSCM) by arguing for the use of mixed methods for theory building. The literature has identified antecedents and enablers for the adoption of GSCM practices. Nevertheless, there is relatively little research on building robust methodological approaches and techniques that take into account the dynamic nature of green supply chains. To address this gap, the paper firstly reviews systematically the literature on GSCM enablers; secondly, it argues for the use of mixed methods research to address questions related to GSCM enablers; thirdly, it uses interpretive structural modeling (ISM), MICMAC analysis, and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to illustrate the application of mixed methods in GSCM by testing a model on the enablers of GSCM; and fourthly, highlights the influence of enablers including, inter alia, top management commitment, institutional pressures, supplier and customer relationship management on financial and environmental performance. Finally, we conclude with limitations and further research directions.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to consider the potential of engagement research by exploring the literature on engagement research. Engagement research in social and environmental accounting (SEA) aims to enhance the social, environmental and ethical accountability of organizations and conceives that understanding SEA demands engaging with the (social and organizational) fields in which SEA is envisaged and practiced. Design/methodology/approach – In this respect, the paper suggests a dialogue between the expectations about engagement research and what has been delivered in the literature. This paper reviews 32 articles publishing engagement research studies to explore the methodology of engagement research. Findings – The paper concludes that this methodology is consistent with notions of research in the context of application and extended peer-review communities. Further, this study shows a promising cross-fertilization between interpretive insight and critical enlightenment in engagement research. The paper also explores in more depth three methodological issues: what is specific about engagement research, particularly compared to stakeholder engagement; that the decision about the locus of engagement research does not seem to be driven by the characteristics of organizations, but by the potential insight and enlightenment that the empirical setting can yield; and, finally, that engagement research requires more space for reflexivity. Originality/value – This paper provides a reference for the methodological design of engagement research studies.
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This study investigates the motivations of local councils for producing a sustainability report. Inter-connecting theories of legitimacy, accountability, and the New Public Management are used to structure an investigation that explains patterns of behaviours by Italian local councils. The project assesses if, and how, stakeholder engagement can influence the local councils’ decision-making process through the adoption of sustainability reporting. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the sustainability report preparers of a sample of Italian local councils. The findings demonstrate that initially sustainability reporting is introduced for accountability and legitimacy reasons. However, over time traditional sustainability reporting was incidental to more sophisticated tools of policy-making and reporting, in which some of the stakeholders were actively involved. The findings highlight the political negotiations in which sustainability reporting finds itself. The stakeholder engagement projects implement legitimizing strategies within the context of the search for an arrangement between political programs and stakeholder demands.
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Formulating and translating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy into actual managerial practices and outcome values remains an ongoing challenge for many organizations. This paper argues that the Human Resource Management (HRM) function can potentially play an important role in supporting organizations to address this challenge. We argue that HRM could provide an interesting and dynamic support to CSR strategy design as well as implementation and delivery. Drawing on a systematic review of relevant strategic CSR and HRM literatures, this paper highlights the important interfaces between CSR and HRM and develops a conceptual model, the CSR-HRM Co-Creation Model which accounts for the potential HRM roles in CSR and identifies a range of outcome values resulting from a more effective integration of the role of HRM within CSR. The paper concludes with relevant theoretical and managerial recommendations that advance our understanding of the potential interfaces between HRM and CSR and how HRM can support a systematic and progressive CSR agenda
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We investigate the social and environment-related governance disclosure practices of a sample of textile and garment companies operating within Bangladesh. Using content analysis we find that the disclosure of governance information lags behind general corporate social responsibility disclosures, and the textile and garment companies of Bangladesh disclose information about their governance practices in order to secure/maintain legitimacy and/or to meet community expectations. However, the governance disclosures still fall short of what would appear to be expected by the international community, and despite ongoing international concerns about workplace conditions and associated safety, the results suggest limited accountability and transparency in relation to social and environment-related governance practices within a developing country context.
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Customer loyalty and trust are increasingly recognized as crucial for businesses to gain a unique and advantageous position over their competitors. In order to build customer loyalty and trust, businesses in developed countries are increasingly incorporating corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices in supply chains. While CSR is increasingly being considered in supply chains in developed countries, incorporating CSR practices in local supply chains presents a challenge in the context of developing countries and, as a topic, remains under-researched. Drawing from the literature, this article presents a conceptual model with certain propositions to explain the contextual constraints of incorporating CSR practices in local supply chains in developing countries. These propositions are further strengthened by using a descriptive case of Bangladesh as an exemplar of developing countries. The article provides insights into the under-researched area of the link between incorporation of CSR practices, customer loyalty, and trust in the context of developing countries and can be used as a catalyst for future research. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
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We explore the potential firm and industry characteristics that determine the corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure practises by Bangladeshi listed firms. We use a CSR disclosure checklist to measure the extent of CSR disclosure in the annual reports and a multiple regression analysis to examine the determinants of CSR disclosure. Our study finds that CSR disclosure has positive and significant relationships with export-oriented sector, firm size and types of industries. We also find a negative relationship between CSR disclosure and family ownership. The overall findings of our study provide empirical evidence which suggests that a number of firm and industry characteristics are important determinants of the extent of CSR disclosures in a developing country like Bangladesh. Our findings can help the policy makers to adopt necessary regulatory reform to improve the CSR practises and enhance organisational legitimacy.
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While many studies of the motivations behind the corporate social responsibility reporting (CSRR) practices of large corporations have been reported internationally, few have focussed on multinational corporation (MNC) subsidiaries. Most importantly, we still do not know how host country institutional norms, or parent corporation policies, influence MNC subsidiaries embarking upon CSRR. By integrating legitimacy theory (LT) and neo-institutional theory (NIT) explanations, this paper offers a theoretical framework for investigating the CSRR practices of MNC subsidiaries in general, and provides empirical evidence on the nature and motivations of subsidiaries’ CSRR practices in Bangladesh, a developing country. Employing a case study method and using qualitative data, the study finds that CSRR practice in Bangladeshi MNC subsidiaries is limited, consisting mainly of employee information. This observation mirrors the overall CSRR trend in Bangladesh. A desire for internal legitimacy emerges as the primary motivation for CSRR practice in MNC subsidiaries. In particular, the external host country environment of the Bangladeshi subsidiaries seems to be a major limitation in the development of CSRR.
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This article discusses how quantitative and qualitative methods can be combined in a single evaluation study to better understand the phenomenon in question. Three perspectives on combining methods are reviewed: the purist approach where the two methods are seen as mutually exclusive, the situationalist approach that views them as separate but equal, and the pragmatist approach that suggests integration is possible. From the pragmatist position it is argued that either method can be used at the analysis stage to corroborate (provide convergence in findings), elaborate (provide richness and detail), or initiate (offer new interpretations) findings from the other method. Specific examples of how results from each method can inform the other are offered.
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This paper explores the perceptions of Corporate Social Disclosure (CSD) in non-government organisations within the context of a developing country: Bangladesh. Many prior studies have looked at CSD practice from the managerial perspective, while providing less of an insight into non-managerial stakeholder perspectives. Several researchers have argued that the social and environmental accounting literature needs to incorporate the voice of non-managerial stakeholders in CSD development. This paper contributes to the stakeholder-perception-based CSD literature. Semi-structured interviews were carried out in selected social and environmental NGOs of both overseas and Bangladeshi origin. The results suggest that NGO executives are sceptical of current CSD practice. To them, current CSD is ad hoc and no more than a public relations exercise, lacking credibility. Most importantly, owing to structural constraints NGO executives assign lesser significance to CSD than to direct corporate involvement in social development. They described structural constraints as: high levels of poverty, weak governmental structures, dependence on foreign aid and a small group of local business people, lack of awareness of CSD, and an underdeveloped stakeholder relationship. All of these constraints are embedded within the socio-cultural and political history of Bangladesh. NGO executives believe strongly in action rather than words. They suggest that corporations need to engage in social development and to improve their social performance in order to meet their social and environmental responsibilities to the Bangladeshi people.
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This paper investigates the social and environmental disclosure practices of two large multinational companies, specifically Nike and Hennes&Mauritz. Utilising a joint consideration of legitimacy theory and media agenda setting theory, we investigate the linkage between negative media attention, and positive corporate social and environmental disclosures. Our results generally support a view that for those industry‐related social and environmental issues attracting the greatest amount of negative media attention, these corporations react by providing positive social and environmental disclosures. The results were particularly significant in relation to labour practices in developing countries – the issue attracting the greatest amount of negative media attention for the companies in question.
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This paper aims to broaden the present corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting literature by extending its focus to the absence of CSR reporting within a developing country, an area which, to date, is relatively under researched in comparison to the more widely studied presence of CSR reporting within developed Western countries. In particular this paper concentrates upon the lack of disclosure on three particular eco-justice issues: child labour, equal opportunities and poverty alleviation. We examine why this is the case and thereby illuminate underlying motives behind corporate unwillingness to address these issues. For this purpose, 23 semi-structured interviews were undertaken with senior corporate managers in Bangladesh. The findings suggest that the main reasons for non-disclosure include lack of resources, the profit imperative, lack of legal requirements, lack of knowledge/awareness, poor performance and the fear of bad publicity. Given these findings the paper raises some serious concerns as to why corporations would ever be expected to voluntarily report on eco-justice issues where performance is poor and negative publicity would be generated and profit impaired. Further research is still required to uncover current injustices and to imagine what changes can be made.
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This article reports some findings from an investigation of social policy researchers in the UK. The findings relate to the quality criteria that social policy researchers deem to be appropriate to quantitative research, qualitative research and mixed methods research. The data derive from an e-survey of researchers which was followed up by semi-structured interviews with a purposively selected sample from among those e-survey respondents who agreed to be interviewed. The article emphasises the findings that relate to quality criteria for mixed methods research, since this is an area that has not attracted a great deal of attention. Greater agreement was found regarding the criteria that should be employed for assessing quantitative than qualitative research. The findings relating to mixed methods research point to a preference for using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research criteria and for employing different criteria for the quantitative and the qualitative components.
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This study investigates the considerations that might be made by managers when choosing between mutually exclusive stakeholder expectations and reaching and engaging in a dialogue with them. In addition, the study also examines if there are systematic differences across countries (Italy and the US) in the decision to address the concerns of various stakeholder groups. Data was collected from 244 managers and 72 companies simultaneously in two different national business contexts, Italy and the US. The results of the study provide some evidence that managerial perception of three stakeholder group characteristics – power, legitimacy, and urgency – form a parsimonious group of variables that explain the process of stakeholder prioritization. However, only limited support was found for the relationship between salience accorded to a stakeholder group and engagement efforts directed toward the group. The results of the study also show that the managerial decision as to which of the stakeholder groups’ demands to address will be influenced by society-specific expectations. The significance of this study lies in investigating the stakeholder prioritization and engagement process, as it is being practiced, which, one could argue, would help in developing guidelines for effective stakeholder management that stands a realistic chance of being adapted and followed.
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This paper initially highlights the potential role(s) of accountants in ensuring environmental sensitivity in businesses through the mechanism commonly referred to as environmental accounting. It then proceeds to discuss their actual involvement in these issues through a review of past literature on the role of accountants in environmental management accounting and reporting in organizations and the presentation of a local study on environmental accounting. This study seeks to gain insights into the preparedness of accountants in Fiji to handle environmental accounting within the conventional accounting framework. The findings of this research are reflective of contemporary international studies, suggesting that Fiji accountants are conspicuously absent from environmental management accounting and reporting in organizations. This has been attributed to their lack of competence in environmental matters and the voluntary nature of the present environmental accounting practice. Even though the characteristics of a developing nation which pose practical difficulties for the implementation of environmental accounting in a country like Fiji need to be acknowledged, a more proactive stance from the local accountancy profession, academics, the private and public sector is warranted. It is envisaged that this initial research will add to the limited literature on environmental accounting in developing nations and provide a useful framework for further studies, especially those in the South Pacific context.
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There is an impressive history associated with the evolution of the concept and definition of corporate social responsibility (CSR). In this article, the author traces the evolution of the CSR construct beginning in the 1950s, which marks the modern era of CSR. Definitions expanded during the 1960s and proliferated during the 1970s. In the 1980s, there were fewer new definitions, more empirical research, and alternative themes began to mature. These alternative themes included corporate social performance (CSP), stakeholder theory, and business ethics theory. In the 1990s, CSR continues to serve as a core construct but yields to or is transformed into alternative thematic frameworks.
The decision to disclose social information in annual reports is a voluntary one. A positive model of the factors that may influence firms' decisions to disclose social information is proposed. It is hypothesised that the decision may be affected by (a) social performance, (b) political visibility, (c) financial variables, and (d) economic performance. It is found that the decision to disclose social information is well explained by the model and that the key explanatory variables are social performance and political visibility.
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Increasingly, researchers in the field of intellectual capital (IC) need to be able to justify the specific research methods they use to collect the empirical data that they examine to support and test opinions regarding the merit of different approaches to managing and reporting IC. Of the various methods available to researchers seeking to understand intellectual capital reporting (ICR), content analysis is the most popular. The aim of this paper is to review the use of content analysis as a research method in understanding ICR and to offer some observations on the practical utility of the method. Further, the paper examines several research method issues relating to the use of content analysis that have been discussed in the social environmental accounting literature, but not as yet in the IC literature, which we believe are relevant to investigations underway in the field of ICR. This paper reports on several developmental issues we have confronted when using content analysis to examine the voluntary disclosure of IC in annual reports by various organisations. The paper also suggests two theoretical foundations for further investigation into the voluntary disclosure of IC by organisations, and suggests why content analysis is well matched to both these theories as a means to collect empirical data to test research propositions.
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Direct tests between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and firm performance (FP) have been argued to be spurious. Following this line of argument, the present study tests a mediated model in understanding the CSR–FP relationship. Specifically, we posit that reputation and customer satisfaction mediate fully the CSR–FP relationship. Based on the results from a sample of 280 Australian firms, the findings suggest that CSR is linked with FP. However, the effect is indirect: while CSR is linked to both reputation and customer satisfaction, reputation alone mediates the CSR–FP relationship. The results are interesting, suggesting that to reduce ambiguity surrounding the CSR–FP relationship scholars need to significantly expand studies that address moderating and mediating variables. Discussion is given to these findings along with paths for future research.
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Substantial integration of quantitative and qualitative data and findings in mixed methods studies is seldom seen, although maximizing the potential of the approach depends on this. An absence of exemplars has been identified as among a number of factors that currently impede integration in studies carried out by researchers using the approach. This article offers an example of how maximum integration of data sets can be achieved. The sociological study discussed used a combination of methods—questionnaire survey, group interviews, and individual interviews—to obtain a fuller view of young people's perspectives on their lives. Aspects of the project's research design and analyses that were instrumental to achieving a genuinely integrated mixed methods approach are identified.