Corporate social reporting by Irish financial institutions
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MA of Business Studies
Dublin Business School
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The objective of the dissertation is to examine the nature of corporate social reporting by Irish financial institutions in terms of the quality and quantity disclosure of social responsibility information. In addition, the study examines the approaches used by the financial institutions in social reporting and the philosophies that drive this disclosure. The literature is reviewed to examine how theories of social reporting and social responsibility have developed and how empirical studies have sought to explain the nature of corporate social reporting. Traditional research has concentrated on the annual report as its only data source, but this study shows that this may no longer be appropriate. This study has found evidence that company websites may contain significantly larger volumes of corporate social reporting than in the annual report. This study calls for future research to look beyond the annual report when examining corporate social reporting behaviour. This study suggests that only three Irish financial institutions, out of a sample of six, may be said to be engaged in corporate social reporting. These institutions recognise that they have a broader responsibility to stakeholders than just shareholders alone. There is also evidence to suggest they have gone beyond the rhetoric stage. This study highlights the current state of reporting, identifies weak areas of reporting and provides examples of good practice for other institutions to follow.