Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting in China: Political, Social, and Corporate Influences
Accounting and Business Research, Forthcoming
30 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2020
Date Written: June 7, 2020
This paper explores the main drivers of CSR and its reporting for large Chinese listed companies, and identifies the key institutional pressures and stakeholder influences that shape CSR and its reporting. The data were collected through interviews with managers from large listed Chinese companies. Our findings reveal how the Chinese government uses social organisations and social intermediaries to facilitate and mediate CSR and its reporting to meet changing societal expectations across regions, while ensuring that companies remain responsive to the expectations of international stakeholders. We find that CSR and its reporting help companies gain political legitimacy domestically, while retaining their legitimacy in global markets. Companies co-operate with social organisations and social intermediaries actively and continuously. This helped companies secure political legitimacy with the government, while helping officials maintain their social legitimacy. Our findings on regional differences support the idea that relations between Chinese business and society have a fundamental effect on CSR and its reporting.
Keywords: Authoritarian CSR, CSR reporting, China, Institutional theory
JEL Classification: M41
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