Female Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: Effects on Writing, Readability and Future Social Performance

Forthcoming, Advances in Accounting DOI:10.1016/j.adiac.2020.100475

Posted: 10 Jun 2020

See all articles by Maretno A. Harjoto

Maretno A. Harjoto

Pepperdine University - Pepperdine Graziadio Business School (PGBS)

Indrarini Laksmana

Kent State University - Department of Accounting

Eric Lee

University of Northern Iowa

Date Written: May 20, 2020

Abstract

This study examines how the gender of corporate social responsibility (CSR) leaders (as signers of the CSR reports) could affect two psychometric properties (i.e., solidarity and certainty) and the readability of the reports. We also investigate how these gender-based differences are associated with firms' future perceived social performance. We conduct textual analyses on a sample of 346 firms in the S&P500 index that issued annual CSR reports during the period of 2006 to 2015. Our findings show that CSR reports with a female (vis-à-vis male) executive as the signer or co-signer are more readable, show more solidarity with readers, but express less certainty in the narratives. In examining their impacts, we find that readability and solidarity, but not certainty, are positively associated with firms' future social performance. Our results suggest the value relevance of leveraging greater female representation in firms' CSR reporting leadership teams so as to help firms enhance their social objectives and signal their future social performance.

Keywords: Female leadership, CSR report, Solidarity, Certainty, Readability, Firms' social performance

JEL Classification: J16, M14, M41, M49

Suggested Citation

Harjoto, Maretno Agus and Laksmana, Indrarini and Lee, Eric, Female Leadership in Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: Effects on Writing, Readability and Future Social Performance (May 20, 2020). Forthcoming, Advances in Accounting DOI:10.1016/j.adiac.2020.100475, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3606337 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3606337

Maretno Agus Harjoto (Contact Author)

Pepperdine University - Pepperdine Graziadio Business School (PGBS) ( email )

Drescher Campus Suite 344
24255 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90263
United States
(310) 506-8542 (Phone)
(310) 506-4126 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=9-PfQi0AAAAJ

Indrarini Laksmana

Kent State University - Department of Accounting ( email )

P.O. Box 5190
Kent, OH 44242-0001
United States

Eric Lee

University of Northern Iowa

College of Business Administration
Cedar Falls, IA 50614
United States
(319) 273-2402 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://business.uni.edu/faculty-staff/wee-meng-eric-lee

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