The use of corporate social disclosures in the management of reputation and legitimacy: a cross sectoral analysis of UK Top 100 Companies

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Recent years have witnessed an escalation in corporate social reporting (CSR) by UK companies (Gray, Kouhy and Lavers 1995). Whilst some elements of CSR reporting are required by law, much of it represents voluntary reporting. By investigating the non‐mandatory reporting of two aspects of social responsibility, corporate community involvement (CCI) and environmental impact, this paper seeks to explore why companies choose to make such disclosures. It specifically asks whether companies are primarily motivated by the strategic need to manage their reputation and legitimacy rather than by the recognition of their ethical accountability, which is the stated purpose of reports produced by cutting edge companies (Clarke 1998).

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Leeds University Business School, 2: University of Wales at Newport

Publication date: January 1, 1999

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