IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/spr/qualqt/v50y2016i1p399-420.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Assessing the quality of corporate social responsibility reports: the case of reporting practices in selected European Union member states

Author

Listed:
  • Patrycja Hąbek

    ()

  • Radosław Wolniak

    ()

Abstract

The organization may communicate its engagement in sustainability and may presents results achieved in this field by creating and publishing corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports. Today, we can observe a growing number of companies issuing such reports as a part of their annual reports or as stand-alone CSR reports. Despite the increase in the number of such reports their quality is different. CSR reports do not always provide complete data that readers desire, which in turn intensifies the problem with the evaluation and comparison of the organization’s results achieved in this scope. Differences also occur between reporting models used in different EU countries caused by, inter alia, differently applied EU legislation on the disclosure of non-financial information in different Member States. This paper is one of the first attempts to perform a quantitative and qualitative analysis of corporate sustainability reporting practices in several European Union countries. The purpose of this article is to present the current state of CSR reporting practices in selected EU Member States and identify the differences in the quality and level of this kind of practices, taking into account the mandatory and voluntary model of disclosure. The study included separate CSR reports as well as annual reports with CSR sections and integrated reports published in 2012 in six selected EU Member States. The authors have used a specific evaluation tool in the examination of the individual reports. The assessment questionnaire consists of seventeen criteria grouped into two categories (relevance and credibility of information). In order to assess the quality of examined reports, the authors aggregated the indicators related with the reporting practices. The findings show that the quality level of the studied reports is generally low. Referring to its components, the relevance of the information provided in the assessed reports is at the higher level than its credibility. The study also indicates that the legal obligation of CSR data disclosure has a positive effect on the quality of CSR reports. Copyright The Author(s) 2016

Suggested Citation

  • Patrycja Hąbek & Radosław Wolniak, 2016. "Assessing the quality of corporate social responsibility reports: the case of reporting practices in selected European Union member states," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 399-420, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:50:y:2016:i:1:p:399-420
    DOI: 10.1007/s11135-014-0155-z
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s11135-014-0155-z
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Isabelle Maignan & David A Ralston, 2002. "Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe and the U.S.: Insights from Businesses' Self-presentations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 33(3), pages 497-514, September.
    2. Ruth V. Aguilera & Cynthia A. Williams & John M. Conley & Deborah E. Rupp, 2006. "Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility: a comparative analysis of the UK and the US," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 147-158, May.
    3. Dierkes, Meinolf, 1979. "Corporate social reporting in Germany: conceptual developments and practical experience," EconStor Open Access Articles, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, pages 87-107.
    4. Lizet Quaak & Theo Aalbers & John Goedee, 2007. "Transparency of Corporate Social Responsibility in Dutch Breweries," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(3), pages 293-308, December.
    5. David O'Brien & Li Zong & Harley Dickinson, 2011. "The Reach and Influence of Social Capital for Career Advancement and Firm Development: Elite Managers and Russia's Exit from Socialism," Management and Organization Review, The International Association for Chinese Management Research, vol. 7(2), pages 303-327, July.
    6. O'Brien, David & Zong, Li & Dickinson, Harley, 2011. "The Reach and Influence of Social Capital for Career Advancement and Firm Development Elite Managers and Russia's Exit from Socialism," Management and Organization Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 303-327, July.
    7. Dierkes, Meinolf, 1979. "Corporate social reporting in Germany: Conceptual developments and practical experience," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 4(1-2), pages 87-107, January.
    8. Grojer, Jan-Erik & Stark, Agneta, 1977. "Social accounting: A Swedish attempt," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 349-385, October.
    9. Alexandro Kleine & Michael Hauff, 2009. "Sustainability-Driven Implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility: Application of the Integrative Sustainability Triangle," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 85(3), pages 517-533, April.
    10. Stephen Chen & Petra Bouvain, 2009. "Is Corporate Responsibility Converging? A Comparison of Corporate Responsibility Reporting in the USA, UK, Australia, and Germany," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 87(1), pages 299-317, April.
    11. Dima Jamali & Yusuf Sidani & Khalil El-Asmar, 2009. "A Three Country Comparative Analysis of Managerial CSR Perspectives: Insights From Lebanon, Syria and Jordan," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 85(2), pages 173-192, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Jonek-Kowalska, Izabela, 2018. "How do turbulent sectoral conditions sector influence the value of coal mining enterprises? Perspectives from the Central-Eastern Europe coal mining industry," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 103-112.
    2. Davide Giacomini & Laura Rocca & Cristian Carini & Mario Mazzoleni, 2018. "Overcoming the Barriers to the Diffusion of Sustainability Reporting in Italian LGOs: Better Stick or Carrot?," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-14, January.
    3. Cristian Carini & Laura Rocca & Monica Veneziani & Claudio Teodori, 2018. "Ex-Ante Impact Assessment of Sustainability Information–The Directive 2014/95," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(2), pages 1-24, February.
    4. Maryna Gulenko, 2018. "Mandatory CSR reporting—literature review and future developments in Germany [Nichtfinanzielle Berichterstattungspflicht – Literaturzusammenfassung und Mögliche Entwicklungen in Deutschland]," NachhaltigkeitsManagementForum | Sustainability Management Forum, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 3-17, December.
    5. Jaime-Andres Correa-Garcia & Maria-Antonia Garcia-Benau & Emma Garcia-Meca, 2018. "CSR Communication Strategies of Colombian Business Groups: An Analysis of Corporate Reports," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(5), pages 1-19, May.
    6. Chiara Mio & Pier Luigi Marchini & Alice Medioli, 2020. "Forward‐looking information in integrated reports: Insights from “best in class”," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(5), pages 2212-2224, September.
    7. Andrea Cardoni & Evgeniia Kiseleva & Simone Terzani, 2019. "Evaluating the Intra-Industry Comparability of Sustainability Reports: The Case of the Oil and Gas Industry," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(4), pages 1-23, February.
    8. Jonek-Kowalska, Izabela, 2019. "Consolidation as a risk management method in the lifecycle of a mining company: A novel methodological approach and evidence from the coal industry in Poland," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 169-177.
    9. Cristian R. Loza Adaui, 2020. "Sustainability Reporting Quality of Peruvian Listed Companies and the Impact of Regulatory Requirements of Sustainability Disclosures," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-22, February.
    10. Domenico Raucci & Lara Tarquinio, 2020. "Sustainability Performance Indicators and Non-Financial Information Reporting. Evidence from the Italian Case," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(1), pages 1-17, February.
    11. Jonek-Kowalska, Izabela & Nawrocki, Tomasz L., 2019. "Holistic fuzzy evaluation of operational risk in polish mining enterprises in a long-term and sectoral research perspective," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1-1.
    12. Thomas A. Tsalis & Kyveli E. Malamateniou & Dimitrios Koulouriotis & Ioannis E. Nikolaou, 2020. "New challenges for corporate sustainability reporting: United Nations' 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the sustainable development goals," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(4), pages 1617-1629, July.
    13. Mario González & María del Mar Alonso-Almeida & David Dominguez, 2018. "Mapping global sustainability report scoring: a detailed analysis of Europe and Asia," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 52(3), pages 1041-1055, May.
    14. Jonas Wanner & Christian Janiesch, 2019. "Big data analytics in sustainability reports: an analysis based on the perceived credibility of corporate published information," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 12(1), pages 143-173, April.
    15. Ana Petrina Păun & Codruța Cornelia Dura & Sorin Mihăilescu & Roland Iosif Moraru & Claudia Adriana Isac, 2020. "OHS Disclosures Within Non-Financial Reports: The Romanian Case," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5), pages 1-28, March.
    16. Salvatore Loprevite & Domenico Raucci & Daniela Rupo, 2020. "KPIs Reporting and Financial Performance in the Transition to Mandatory Disclosure: The Case of Italy," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(12), pages 1-24, June.
    17. Andrés Navarro-Galera & Francisco José Alcaraz-Quiles & David Ortiz-Rodriguez, 2018. "Enhancing Sustainability Transparency in Local Governments—An Empirical Research in Europe," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(7), pages 1-22, June.
    18. Esther Hoffmann & Christian Dietsche & Christine Hobelsberger, 2018. "Between mandatory and voluntary: non-financial reporting by German companies [Zwischen Pflicht und Kür: Nichtfinanzielle Berichterstattung deutscher Unternehmen]," NachhaltigkeitsManagementForum | Sustainability Management Forum, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 47-63, December.
    19. Anna Bluszcz, 2017. "European economies in terms of energy dependence," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 51(4), pages 1531-1548, July.
    20. Brian P. McCullough & Jamee Pelcher & Sylvia Trendafilova, 2020. "An Exploratory Analysis of the Environmental Sustainability Performance Signaling Communications among North American Sport Organizations," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(5), pages 1-17, March.
    21. Lara Tarquinio & Stefanía C. Posadas & Deborah Pedicone, 2020. "Scoring Nonfinancial Information Reporting in Italian Listed Companies: A Comparison of before and after the Legislative Decree 254/2016," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(10), pages 1-22, May.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:50:y:2016:i:1:p:399-420. See general 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: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.