Corporate social responsibility reporting: A comprehensive picture?

Bouten, Lies; Everaert, Patricia; Van Liedekerke, Luc; De Moor, Lieven; Christiaens, Johan
September 2011
Accounting Forum;Sep2011, Vol. 35 Issue 3, p187
Academic Journal
Abstract: This study develops a content analysis framework that provides information on the comprehensiveness of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, an important aspect of social and environmental accountability. Comprehensive reporting, as defined here, requires three types of information for each disclosed CSR item: (i) vision and goals, (ii) management approach, and (iii) performance indicators. The feasibility of the framework to assess the comprehensiveness of CSR reporting is demonstrated using the 2005 annual reports of a sample of publicly traded Belgian companies. The content analysis reveals a low level of comprehensive reporting. This finding complements those of prior studies on the completeness of CSR reporting and, therefore, feeds the debate regarding the extent to which CSR reporting can be considered a mechanism for discharging social and environmental accountability.


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