IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Sustainability disclosure and reputation: a comparative study


  • Giovanna Michelon

    () (Universit… di Padova)


?This paper aims to explore the relationship between a company's sustainability disclosure and its reputation. The sample consists of 57 companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and a control group belonging to the Dow Jones Global Index (World1), matched on country, industry and size. The extent of sustainability disclosure is determined using the content analysis method performed via multimedia. The empirical research provides evidence that reputation does affect the extent of sustainability disclosure. Furthermore, results indicate that European companies disclose more than US companies. This paper is exploratory in nature as it investigates the effects of reputation on corporate sustainability disclosure (CSD). It also examines sustainability disclosure by type of information - strategic, financial, environmental and social - and it extends previous studies on CSD by concentrating on information released not only on annual reports, but also in multimedia, such as social reports, environmental reports and sustainability reports.

Suggested Citation

  • Giovanna Michelon, 2007. "Sustainability disclosure and reputation: a comparative study," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0044, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  • Handle: RePEc:pad:wpaper:0044

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gary K Meek & Clare B Roberts & Sidney J Gray, 1995. "Factors Influencing Voluntary Annual Report Disclosures By U.S., U.K. and Continental European Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 26(3), pages 555-572, September.
    2. Dierkes, Meinolf & Preston, Lee E., 1977. "Corporate social accounting reporting for the physical environment: A critical review and implementation proposal," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 3-22, January.
    3. Cowen, Scott S. & Ferreri, Linda B. & Parker, Lee D., 1987. "The impact of corporate characteristics on social responsibility disclosure: A typology and frequency-based analysis," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 111-122, March.
    4. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    5. N/A, 1985. "Asia," India Quarterly: A Journal of International Affairs, , vol. 41(1), pages 80-87, January.
    6. Trotman, Ken T. & Bradley, Graham W., 1981. "Associations between social responsibility disclosure and characteristics of companies," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 6(4), pages 355-362, October.
    7. 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.
    8. Newson, Marc & Deegan, Craig, 2002. "Global expectations and their association with corporate social disclosure practices in Australia, Singapore, and South Korea," The International Journal of Accounting, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 183-213.
    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.
    10. David L. Deephouse & Suzanne M. Carter, 2005. "An Examination of Differences Between Organizational Legitimacy and Organizational Reputation," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(2), pages 329-360, March.
    11. Patten, Dennis M., 1991. "Exposure, legitimacy, and social disclosure," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 297-308.
    12. repec:bla:joares:v:31:y:1993:i:2:p:246-271 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Rob Gray & Mohammed Javad & David M. Power & C. Donald Sinclair, 2001. "Social and Environmental Disclosure and Corporate Characteristics: A Research Note and Extension," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3-4), pages 327-356.
    14. Carol A. Adams & Carlos Larrinaga-González, 2007. "Engaging with organisations in pursuit of improved sustainability accounting and performance," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(3), pages 333-355, June.
    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. Healy, Paul M. & Palepu, Krishna G., 2001. "Information asymmetry, corporate disclosure, and the capital markets: A review of the empirical disclosure literature," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 405-440, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    sustainability disclosure; reputation; legitimacy theory; USA; Europe; UK; content analysis;

    JEL classification:

    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • M41 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Accounting - - - Accounting

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    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:pad:wpaper:0044. 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: (Raffaele Dei Campielisi). General contact details of provider: .

    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.