CSR Disclosure in Three Market Economies: A Longitudinal Content Analysis of the Manifestation of Ethics, the Coverage of Stakeholders, the Transparency of Information and the CSR Themes from an Institutional Perspective Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Lee, Tae Ho
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Mass Communication Graduate Program
  • Drawing on the institutional theory, this content analysis investigated CSR communication in 750 corporate reports spanning a 10-year period from 150 companies from liberal market economies (LMEs: the US and UK), coordinated market economies (CMEs: Germany and Japan), and state-led market economies (SLMEs: France and South Korea). While CSR communication did not become explicit over time in terms of the form of communication, the total page counts indicated significant increase from earlier to later periods, suggesting more explicit CSR communication. Also, significant increases in the scope and depth of stakeholders as well as the transparency of messages were found. The emphasis on the supplier significantly increased over time. The most relatively prominent stakeholder and CSR theme was the employee and the environment, respectively. The SLMEs – while exhibiting significantly more implicit CSR communication than the other market economies – showed market-driven CSR through the significantly higher emphasis on the shareholder than the LMEs, higher relative prominence of the shareholder and the CSR theme of economic responsibility than the other market economies, and the significantly decreasing emphasis on the employee. The LMEs deviated from the characteristics as shareholder-based market economies. The LMEs showed significantly higher relative prominence of the stakeholder groups of the government and community, as well as the CSR theme of the community, than the other market economies. Additionally, the relative prominence of the investor was significantly lower in the LMEs than in the CMEs. The CMEs showed significantly lower attention to ethics than the other market economies, with a trend of decrease from the first to last period. However, the relative prominence of the CSR theme of business ethics – which includes other areas such as human rights as well as ethics – was significantly higher in the CMEs than the other market economies. Additionally, the transparency of messages was significantly higher in the CMES than the other market economies. The titles of CSR communications significantly differed, with the corporate citizenship title used significantly more and the sustainability title less in the LMEs, while CSR is less used in the SLMEs. Other theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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  • In Copyright
  • Rawlins, Brad
  • Boynton, Lois A.
  • Comello, Maria Leonora
  • May, Steve
  • Riffe, Daniel
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Graduate School
Graduation year
  • 2017

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