Dissertation: Der Einfluss von Corporate Responsibility Reporting auf die unternehmerische Verantwortung

Der Einfluss von Corporate Responsibility Reporting auf die unternehmerische Verantwortung

Eine empirische Analyse des Zusammenhangs von freiwilliger Berichterstattung und korporativem Fehlverhalten

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Nachhaltigkeits-Management – Studien zur nachhaltigen Unternehmensführung, volume 34

Hamburg , 300 pages

ISBN 978-3-8300-9851-5 (print) |ISBN 978-3-339-09851-1 (eBook)

About this book englishenglish

In implementing the concept of corporate responsibility, reporting on it plays a key role as disclosing corporate responsibility (CR) performance through reporting serves both internal and external purposes. The overriding goal of reporting is attaining responsible corporate management and, in the end, the avoidance of corporate misbehavior, such as environmental pollution or human rights violations.

While the phenomenon of CR reporting has already been analyzed from multiple perspectives in the literature, one fundamental question has not yet been addressed. To what extent can voluntary CR reporting actually reduce corporate misbehavior. The examination of this exact question lies at the centre of this study and focuses on a key gap in research: the explicit distinction between responsible and irresponsible corporate behavior. In a first step, determinants of voluntary CR reporting are explored. Then, possible factors influencing corporate misbehavior are examined, using regression analysis and taking into account endogeneity.

The central result of the analyses is that no reduction of corporate misbehavior can be observed for companies that voluntarily publish a CR report according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. On the contrary, there is a positive correlation between the two, which supports the arguments of legitimacy theory but not those of signaling theory. By demonstrating empirically that CR reporting is not a credible signal of corporate responsibility, this study provides a contribution not only to research but also for standard setters like the GRI and other external stakeholder groups.

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