Corporate social responsibility and financial disclosures: An alternative explanation for increased disclosure [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 33 (1):1 - 13 (2001)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Researchers and practitioners have devoted considerable attention to firms'' policies regarding discretionary disclosures. Prior studies argue that firms increase demand for their debt and equity issues and, thus, lower their cost of capital, by providing more informative disclosures. However, empirical research has generally not been able to document significant benefits from increased disclosure.This paper proposes an alternative explanation – firms disclose because it is the socially responsible thing to do. We argue that companies have incentives to engage in stakeholder management by undertaking socially responsible activities and that providing extensive and informative disclosures is one such practice.We examine the relationship between firms'' disclosures and measures of social responsibility. We use ratings provided by the Council on Economic Priorities as proxies for the degree of social responsibility adopted by the sample firms. Disclosure rankings provided by the annual Association for Investment Management and Research Corporate Information Committee Reports (AIMR Reports) are used to measure disclosure level.Our results indicate that there is a positive relationship between disclosure level and corporate social responsibility. That is, firms that engage in socially responsive activities provide more informative and/or extensive disclosures than do companies that are less focused on advancing social goals. In addition, we find that socially responsible firms are more likely to provide this increased disclosure through better investor relations practices. These results support our contention that increased disclosure is a form of socially responsible behavior.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,594

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

198 (#62,893)

6 months
2 (#278,853)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?