Global financial crisis and corporate social responsibility disclosure

António Dias, Lúcia Lima Rodrigues, Russell Craig

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    Purpose – This paper investigates the effect of the global financial crisis (GFC) on the level of corporate social responsibility disclosures (CSRD) in the annual report and/or CSR report of 36 major listed Portuguese companies in each of the years 2005, 2008 and 2011. ó ú

    Design/methodology/approach – The analysis is framed principally by stakeholder theory. Data were explored using thematic content analysis and an index of disclosure calculated by year, industry type (consumer proximity versus environment sensitivity) and category of information.

    Findings – Before the GFC, Portuguese listed companies increased their CSRD practices significantly. During the crisis, there was a slight decrease in CSRD. However, this was not as pronounced, as it would otherwise have been because it was counteracted by increased disclosures of company interactions with society, particularly in matters of corruption prevention and community engagement. CSRD was higher for companies with high consumer proximity but did not appear to be influenced by companies’ level of environmental sensitivity.

    Originality/value – The results reveal a strong concern by companies for stakeholder management (particularly in respect of community relations) in a period of financial crisis. This study highlights the effect of a company’s proximity to consumers on levels of CSRD.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)654-671
    JournalSocial Responsibility Journal
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Sept 2016


    • Disclosure
    • Environment
    • Visibility
    • Financial crisis
    • Social responsibility
    • Consumer proximity


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