Do companies manipulate CSR information to retain legitimacy?

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Mokslo publikacijos / Scientific publications
Document Type:
Straipsnis / Article
Anglų kalba / English
Do companies manipulate CSR information to retain legitimacy?
In the Journal:
Inžinerinė ekonomika [Engineering Economics]. 2018, 29 (3), p. 352-360
Reikšminiai žodžiai: Indicators; Corporate social responsibility; Global reporting initiative; Stakeholders; Controversial industries.
Controversial industries; Corporate social responsibility; Global reporting initiative; Indicators; Stakeholders.
Summary / Abstract:

ENCorporations’ involvement in activities that are socially responsible, with respect for workers' rights and ethically principled, brings tangible benefits to the enterprise. These CSR benefits include an increase in stakeholders’ assessment of the corporation with a boost in perceived trustworthiness. Companies, however, may treat sustainability reports as a tool to legitimize their actions. In order to achieve the desired results from CSR activities, companies disclose only selected information to customers, employees and/or owners. The aim of this paper is to answer the question of whether companies change measures in subsequent CSR reports to avoid revealing unfavorable information in sustainability reports. We analyzed 116 reports of corporations from different countries: Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine and Latvia. We used the reports from the website: For every company we used two newest reports for two consecutive years in the period 2010-2016. We used t-test to verify the hypothesis that companies remove and add the same number of CSR measures in subsequent reports and that corporations from controversial industries change disclosed information to higher extent than companies from other industries. We stated, that companies replace one measure with the new one to keep the impression of the same level of disclosure and to maintain or increase the level of legitimacy. Research showed that companies change the number and type of disclosed measures and they don’t explain reasons of the changes made in the reports, which may indicate a desire to green the organization by presenting only positive information. However, we can’t confirm that there is a significant difference in changes of CSR measures revealed between companies from controversial and non-controversial industries.The paper fills a research gap in the research on the reliability of CSR disclosure. It concentrates on the motives and the range of measures unveiled in the sustainability reports to legitimize a company’s activity. [From the publication]

1392-2785; 2029-5839
2018-12-17 14:19:23
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