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Transparency of Annual Sustainability Reports

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What is transparency, how can it be measured and what is the relationship between transparency and corporate reputation? One important feature of socially responsible entrepreneurship is the transparent dialogue with stakeholders about the policies and activities the company proposes to pursue in that respect. During such dialogue, it is important to cultivate mutual understanding and appreciation. A high level of appreciation increases stakeholders' confidence in the enterprise and this in turn reinforces its positive reputation. An instrument, which can be of assistance in this process, is an Annual Sustainability Report. The primary function of such a report, in communication terms, is to account for the company's actions. On the basis of the above rationale, the central question for this paper is: What indicators can be used to measure the transparency value of Annual Sustainability Reports and to what extent does this value correlate to the reputation (expressed as the RQ score) of an enterprise?Corporate Reputation Review (2004) 7, 107–124; doi:10.1057/palgrave.crr.1540215

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2004-07-01

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