Corporate social responsibility disclosure (CSRD): a case study of Pakistan

PhD thesis

Waris, A. 2014. Corporate social responsibility disclosure (CSRD): a case study of Pakistan. PhD thesis Middlesex University Business School
TypePhD thesis
TitleCorporate social responsibility disclosure (CSRD): a case study of Pakistan
AuthorsWaris, A.

The overall purpose of this research is to understand the quantity (i.e. magnitude and breadth) and quality of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR hereafter) disclosure and its dimensions: environment, human resource, products and consumer and community involvement; and the factors (both observable and non-observable) which influence CSR disclosure and its dimensions in the annual reports by corporations listed at Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE hereafter) of Pakistan. This research uses three widely used theories: legitimacy, stakeholder, and institutional theory to explain the disclosure results. This study used content analysis and survey (questionnaire) methods to collect the required data. In examining the quantity of CSR disclosure, the results revealed that the sampled companies paid more attention to human resource and community involvement related practices (see Chapter 6). Further, the results revealed a significant increase in the quantity of CSR disclosure and its dimensions in 2011. In investigating the quality of CSR disclosure, the majority of the sampled companies made declarative types of disclosure (i.e. aims and actions indicators) and mainly focused on good news (e.g. donations to schools, establishment of hospitals, and sponsorship for environmental awareness programmes etc.). Overall the quality of CSR disclosure was found to be very poor. However the quality of CSR disclosure and its dimensions has improved with the passage of time (2008-2011) (see Chapter 6). Further the results revealed that company’s social visibility (proxied by company size, profitability, environmental sensitivity, and multinational subsidiary) and CSR promoting institutions (i.e. CSR Pakistan, CSRCP, WWF, UNGC, CSR standard setting institutions) are major determinants of CSR disclosure, while corporate governance and financial stakeholders are weak determinants of CSR disclosure and its dimensions (see Chapter 7). In exploring the non-observable factors influencing the CSR disclosure, the results showed that ‘to build company image’, the chairman’s, regulatory institutions’, shareholders’, and non-executive directors’ concerns are the most important factors considered in the decision to disclose CSR information in the annual reports. In investigating the factors considered to be important influences on the magnitude, breadth, and quality of CSR disclosure, the researcher developed three regression models (CSR disclosure extent, CSR disclosure level, and CSR disclosure quality). The results revealed that companies which are operating in an environmentally sensitive sector or want to build company image place substantial importance on CSR issues, cover a range of CSR issues, and provide a relatively rich quality disclosure. In addition to this, the researcher found that a lack of CSR education and CSR reporting support, insufficiency of shareholders demand for CSR information, inadequacy of customers’ interest in CSR information, meagreness of regulatory requirements, and fear of public reaction to sensitive information were perceived to be the major reasons for non-disclosure of CSR information in Pakistan (see Chapter 8). The results revealed that the joint consideration of legitimacy, stakeholder, and institutional theory provides the rich insights and better explains the results than the consideration of a single theory (see Chapter 9).

Department nameBusiness School
Institution nameMiddlesex University
Publication dates
Print27 Mar 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited27 Mar 2015
Completed25 Nov 2014
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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