IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Voluntary disclosure of corporate social responsibility by Belgian listed firms: a content analysis of annual reports

Listed author(s):
  • Everaert, Patricia


    (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium)

  • Bouten, Lies


    (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium)

  • Van Liedekerke, Luc


    (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

  • De Moor, Lieven


    (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium
    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)

  • Christiaens, Johan


    (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Gent, Belgium)

This 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.

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management in its series Working Papers with number 2007/29.

in new window

Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2007
Handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:200729
Contact details of provider: Web page:

More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:200729. 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: (Sabine Janssens)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.