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Self-Reporting CSR Activities: When Your Company Harms, Do You Self-Disclose?

Zachary Johnson (), Minoo Talebi Ashoori () and Yun Jung Lee
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Zachary Johnson: Adelphi University
Minoo Talebi Ashoori: Purdue University Northwest
Yun Jung Lee: Adelphi University

Corporate Reputation Review, 2018, vol. 21, issue 4, 153-164

Abstract: Abstract Companies increasingly view corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an important dimension of corporate reputation. This is at least partly motivated by the understanding that a strong CSR reputation can enhance profits. This research examines how self-reporting of CSR activities links to corporations’ CSR reputation. Broadly, a company can opt to (a) voluntarily embrace self-reporting and describe its CSR policies and performance to stakeholders or (b) stay silent in this regard. We find a positive link between CSR self-reporting and a company’s social responsibility reputation and, more interestingly, show that companies are more apt to report this information when (a) their activities have a greater adverse environment impact and (b) have policies that are evaluated favorably by a third party. CSR self-reporting mediates the effects of third-party evaluations and improves the CSR reputation of companies. Moreover, consistent with prior research, we show that improvements in CSR reputation enhance profits.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility (CSR); Brand reputation; CSR self-reporting; Environmental impact; Environmental policies (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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