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Asymmetric Response: Explaining Corporate Social Disclosure by Multi-National Firms in Environmentally Sensitive Industries

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  • Toms, Steven

Abstract

The paper examines the determinants of corporate social disclosure (CSD) using a sample drawn from environmentally sensitive industries. It extends the traditional literature in two respects. First, it is international in scope, examining the accounting disclosure responses of multi-national companies to the pressures implied by the nature and scope of their operations. Second, variables measuring political risk and social development are developed so that these pressures can be measured, thereby introducing new dimensions to the literature. In common with previous studies, financial risk, size and other control variables are included. The relationships are tested econometrically utilising regression techniques not previously applied in the CSD literature but nonetheless more generally appropriate when using count dependent variables. Our results suggest that managers feel an unequal sense of responsibility to different constituencies and their disclosure priorities are determined by stock market accountability, lobbying power of their domestic audience and the political risk of their activities rather than the impact of their activities in countries of operation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The York Management School, University of York in its series The York Management School Working Papers with number 42.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wrc:ymswp1:42

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  9. Patten, Dennis M., 1992. "Intra-industry environmental disclosures in response to the Alaskan oil spill: A note on legitimacy theory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 471-475, July.
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  13. Vanessa Magness, 2006. "Strategic posture, financial performance and environmental disclosure: An empirical test of legitimacy theory," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 19(4), pages 540-563, July.
  14. Aerts, Walter & Cormier, Denis & Magnan, Michel, 2008. "Corporate environmental disclosure, financial markets and the media: An international perspective," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 643-659, January.
  15. Roberts, Robin W., 1992. "Determinants of corporate social responsibility disclosure: An application of stakeholder theory," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 17(6), pages 595-612, August.
  16. Anita Jose & Shang-Mei Lee, 2007. "Environmental Reporting of Global Corporations: A Content Analysis based on Website Disclosures," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 72(4), pages 307-321, June.
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