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Determinants of voluntary CSR disclosure : empirical evidence from Germany

R. Gamerschlag, Klaus Möller & F. Verbeeten

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abstract Currently, companies spend a great deal of effort on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) disclosures. CSR disclosure relates to the provision of information on companies’ environmental and social performance. From an economic perspective, companies might disclose this information to avoid or decrease potential political costs. We construct a CSR disclosure index based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. Using content analysis, we analyze 130 listed German companies’ CSR disclosures (470 firm-year observations) to investigate the determinants of these voluntary disclosure activities. Our results show that, consistent with the political cost theory, German companies’ disclosures of all CSR issues are affected by their visibility, shareholder structure, and relationship with their US stakeholders. In addition, higher profitability is associated with more environmental disclosures. Finally, size and industry membership affect the amount of CSR disclosure.
   
type journal paper
   
keywords
   
language English
kind of paper journal article
date of appearance 7-2011
journal Review of Managerial Science
publisher Springer (Heidelberg)
ISSN 1863-6683
ISSN (online) 1863-6691
DOI 10.1007/s11846-010-0052-3
volume of journal 5
number of issue 2-3
page(s) 233-262
review external review
   
citation Gamerschlag, R., Möller, K., & Verbeeten, F. (2011). Determinants of voluntary CSR disclosure: empirical evidence from Germany. Review of Managerial Science, 5(2-3), 233-262, DOI:10.1007/s11846-010-0052-3.