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Letters from the top: a comparative control group study of CEO letters to stakeholders

Mark Fuller ()
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Mark Fuller: St. Francis Xavier University

International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility, 2018, vol. 3, issue 1, 1-14

Abstract: Abstract This paper examines corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting with a focus on communications from management. It examines letters from the board chair, CEO and/or senior CSR lead to gain a deeper understanding of how firms disclose their past performance and whether firms noted for the CSR reporting disclose their information in meaningfully different ways compared to other firms. Using a comparative analysis between treatment and control groups, we explore whether there is a difference in reporting approaches between a sample of highly regarded CSR reporters vis-à-vis firms recognized for their high profitability. Our findings suggest CSR-recognized firms discuss sustainability issues in greater quantity but without much meaningful difference in quality. We postulate a parabolic relationship between report quality and cost to explain this situation, discussing both the theoretical and the practical implications.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility; CSR reporting; CEO communications; Voluntary reporting; Mandatory reporting; Stakeholder management; Letters to stakeholders; Canada (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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DOI: 10.1186/s40991-018-0034-3

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International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility is currently edited by René Schmidpeter and Samuel O. Idowu

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