Corporate community involvement disclosures in annual report: A measure of corporate community development or a signal of CSR observance?
The purpose of this study is to examine whether corporate community involvement disclosures (CCID) in annual reports can be construed as a measure of corporate community development (CCD) or a mere signal of corporate social responsibility (CSR) observance. Using content analysis and a quality score index, the study examined a panel data set covering the period from 1999 to 2008. The data was collected from a sample of 270 annual reports of 27 UK companies taken from the top 100 companies for corporate responsibility (BITC ranking, 2008). The research framework involves the use of signalling theory to investigate the information content of CCID. It is found that the volume of corporate community disclosure (CCID) has a significant association with its total quality score (TQS) although the impact was found to be very small. CCID was also found to be strongly and positively associated with the volume of total CSR disclosed in annual reports. Hence the quantity and quality of CCID in annual reports increased significantly as the quantity of CSR disclosure also increased. Furthermore, the TQS was found to respond to company size and Corporate Governance measures such as audit committee size and board composition, and the existence of standalone CSR Reports, while other measures of public pressure such as leverage, profitability and industrial sector were not statistically significantly related with TQS. This paper contributes to CSR literature in general and CCID literature in particular. The originality stems from the fact that it employs a signalling framework and a panel study approach as opposed to cross-sectional only or time-series only data to examine a less researched social disclosure – corporate community involvement.
Citation:Yekini, K. and Jallow, K., (2012) Corporate community involvement disclosures in annual report: A measure of corporate community development or a signal of CSR observance? Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, 3 (1), pp.7 - 32