Voluntary disclosure of corporate social responsibility by Belgian listed firms: a content analysis of annual reports
AbstractThis paper examines the reporting practices of Belgian listed firms, in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Four research questions are addressed: (1) What CSR areas are disclosed in the annual report? (2) What is the extent of the CSR reporting for the different areas? (3) How is the CSR reporting performed (qualitative versus quantitative)? (4) Is there a link between the extent of reporting and industry, profitability or size of the company? Based on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Reporting Guidelines, we developed a coding structure. The annual reports of 111 firms listed on Euronext Brussels, were coded and analyzed. The results show that only 58% disclose on CSR topics. In terms of topics, almost 90% disclose on labour practices, 67% on environment issues, 55% on product responsibility and 56% on society. Only 5% disclose on human rights. In terms of the extent of reporting, measured as the number of words, labour practices is addressed most extensively (representing 40% of the CSR disclosure), followed by environmental issues (representing 31% of the CSR disclosure). Society and product responsibility are disclosed in a far less elaborate way (only 16, respectively 12% of the total CSR disclosure). Companies disclose almost exclusively in a verbal way. The extent of reporting is significantly different between industries. Utilities and banks are providing significantly more elaborate CSR reporting than the other categories. The extent of disclosure is significantly positively correlated with size and profitability of the firm.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management in its series Working Papers with number 2007/29.
Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Date of revision:
annual report; content analysis; corporate social responsibility; disclosure; global reporting initiative;
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sabine Janssens).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.