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A comparative analysis of corporate reporting on ethical issues by UK and German chemical and pharmaceutical companies


  • Carol Adams
  • Nongnooch Kuasirikun


This paper reports on a study of reporting on ethical issues in the corporate annual reports of the largest UK and German chemical and pharmaceutical companies between 1985 and 1995. The study is both comparative and longitudinal in nature, examining in detail how ethical reporting practices developed differently in two Western nations. Despite the similarity in industry affiliations of the companies in the two samples, the study found substantial differences in the nature and patterns of reporting both across time and between the two countries studied. In particular, German companies reported more information and that reporting 'matured' to its current level at an earlier date. The paper explores some of the factors which might be thought to have caused this diversity in reporting between the two countries including: industry initiatives; extent of regulations demanding ethical responsibility; and other social and political pressures.

Suggested Citation

  • Carol Adams & Nongnooch Kuasirikun, 2000. "A comparative analysis of corporate reporting on ethical issues by UK and German chemical and pharmaceutical companies," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(1), pages 53-79.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:9:y:2000:i:1:p:53-79
    DOI: 10.1080/096381800407941

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Valentina Marano & Peter Tashman & Tatiana Kostova, 2017. "Escaping the iron cage: Liabilities of origin and CSR reporting of emerging market multinational enterprises," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 48(3), pages 386-408, April.
    2. Madalina Dumitru & Nadia Albu & Valentin Florentin Dumitru & Catalin Nicolae Albu, 2014. "Practices Regarding the Forms of Communication with the Consumers used by a Multinational Company at Global and Local Level," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 16(35), pages 1-41, February.
    3. repec:eee:crpeac:v:33:y:2015:i:c:p:59-78 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Giovanna Michelon, 2007. "Sustainability disclosure and reputation: a comparative study," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0044, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    5. Daniel Zéghal & Saida Dammak, 2007. "La Divulgation De L'Information Environnementale Dans Les Rapports Annuels : Une Etude Comparative Des Multinationales Americaines Et Europeennes," Post-Print halshs-00534777, HAL.
    6. Stefan Schaltegger & Roger Burritt & Dimitar Zvezdov & Jacob Hörisch & Joanne Tingey-Holyoak, 2015. "Management Roles and Sustainability Information. Exploring Corporate Practice," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 25(4), pages 328-345, December.
    7. 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.
    8. Marisa Agostini & Ericka Costa, 2012. "Mandatory disclosure about environmental and employee matters in Italian listed corporate groups' reports," Working Papers 6, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
    9. Wenjing Li & Xiaoyan Lu, 2016. "Institutional Interest, Ownership Type, and Environmental Capital Expenditures: Evidence from the Most Polluting Chinese Listed Firms," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 459-476, October.
    10. Elena Barbu & Pascal Dumontier & Niculae Feleagă & Liliana Feleagă, 2012. "Mandatory environmental disclosures by companies complying with IAS/IFRS: The case of France, Germany and the UK," Working Papers halshs-00658409, HAL.
    11. Mohammad Nurunnabi, 2016. "Who cares about climate change reporting in developing countries? The market response to, and corporate accountability for, climate change in Bangladesh," Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, Springer, vol. 18(1), pages 157-186, February.
    12. Salma Damak-Ayadi, 2006. "Analyse des facteurs explicatifs de la publication des rapports sociétaux en France," Post-Print halshs-00154184, HAL.
    13. repec:hur:ijarbs:v:7:y:2017:i:12:p:222-240 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. C. Baccouche & Olfa Errais & Karima Mzoughi, 2010. "Les déterminants de la publication volontaire d'informations sociales : cas des entreprises tunisiennes," Post-Print halshs-00526423, HAL.
    15. Carol Adams & Ambika Zutshi, 2004. "Corporate Social Responsibility: Why Business Should Act Responsibly and Be Accountable," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 14(34), pages 31-39, November.
    16. Salma Damak Ayadi, 2004. "Determinants of the corporate decision to disclose stakeholders' reports in France," Post-Print halshs-00154181, HAL.
    17. Moazzem Hossain & Angela Hecimovic & Aklema Choudhury Lema, 2015. "Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility Reporting Practices from an Emerging Mobile Telecommunications Market," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 25(4), pages 389-404, December.
    18. repec:spr:manint:v:51:y:2011:i:5:d:10.1007_s11575-011-0089-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Irene Criado-Jiménez & Manuel Fernández-Chulián & Carlos Larrinaga-González & Francisco Husillos-Carqués, 2008. "Compliance with Mandatory Environmental Reporting in Financial Statements: The Case of Spain (2001–2003)," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 79(3), pages 245-262, May.
    20. Elena Barbu & Pascal Dumontier & Niculae Feleagă & Liliana Feleagă, 2011. "Mandatory environmental disclosures by companies complying with IAS/IFRS: The case of France, Germany and the UK," Post-Print halshs-00658734, HAL.

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