Corporate Social Reporting

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Corporate Social Reporting

Corporate Social Reporting


Societal expectations about the responsible role of business in society are on the increase and the recent research on corporate social responsibility discourse shows that there have been developments of a variety of instruments that aim to improve, evaluate and communicate socially responsible practices. Academics consider the notion of corporate social responsibility has been in existence since the 1950s, proliferating in the 1970s (Carroll, 1999) and gaining increasing currency in the 1990s and the new millennium (De Bakker, Groenewegen, & den Hond, 2005). Likewise, reporting on environmental and social matters has been prevalent for several decades with further growth over the past decade or so (Deegan, 2002).

Reporting on the corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities of an organization forms an integral part of this discourse. CSR reporting is a key tool for communication with stakeholders about an organization's CSR activities. As such it forms a central charter for public relations in communicating and creating mutual understanding, managing potential conflicts (Grunig, 1989) and to achieve legitimacy (Aldrich & Fiol, 1994).

Communication of an organization's social impact is important, and disclosing true and relevant information about corporate behaviour can have benefits for stakeholders, organizations and society. Although societal demands and expectations can be traced all over the globe, organizations are responding to these demands in a variety of manners. One influence on CSR reporting is country (Hooghiemstra, 2000).

The focus of our paper is on examining how two quite different countries, Australia—a Western market economy in the Asia-Pacific region with Asia and the USA as major markets, and Slovenia—a small country that has recently made the transition from socialism and become a part of the European Union, are addressing CSR reporting issues. The paper aims to provide a review and a comparison of the influences on the CSR guidelines and reporting standards in both countries. In addition, it aims to show that reporting standards in both countries could connect and contribute to Global Reporting Initiatives.(Klein,2003)

The issues of CSR and CSR reporting are becoming important not only at national levels but at the global level as well. National pressures are becoming global, and global business as a whole is facing different market and institutional pressures to be socially responsible and to report on socially responsible practices. By our comparative study of two countries in different world regions, we aim to incorporate the richness of the CSR reporting debate. The comparison of CSR reporting instruments in different countries is interesting from at least two points of view. First, the question arises as to whether the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which continues to make inroads as the presumptive standard for global companies, can become a unique model of reporting against a diversity of national concepts of reporting. Second, such comparative studies can give an overview of the state of CSR reporting in different parts of the world that seem geographically and culturally distant but are, simultaneously, the marketplace for the same global companies.

Corporate Social Responsibility And Csr Reporting

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