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Disclosure Alignment and Transparency Signaling in CSR Reporting

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Document pages: 24 pages

Abstract: This chapter investigates companies disclosure alignment and transparency signaling within the 2011 CSR annual reports of 36 U.S. firms in the Global Forbes 2000. DICTION 6.0 was used for the text analysis. The study found that CSR reports are fairly similar to corporate financial annual reports but can be classified more accurately as a hybrid discourse with nonnative elements matching genres emanating from science, business, government, religion, and social movements. Despite the relatively short time that CSR reports have been in existence, this chapter provides evidence that CSR reporting has become institutionalized quickly. The measures of transparency signaling and disclosure alignment reveal that companies know the rules for reporting and are following them. CSR reporting on societal and environmental impacts and performance receive the most focused discussion, while human rights, labor, and product responsibility discussions are at minimal levels. The study ends with future research directions.

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