The impact of corporate identity on corporate social responsibility disclosure
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is of increasing importance for the long-term success of corporations. Extending existing literature this paper explores corporate identity as important determinant for CSR disclosure. The relationship was examined based on 498 German companies that provided English language CSR reports and responded to a company survey measuring CSR-oriented corporate identity. CSR disclosure has been analyzed with an automated content analysis technique using artificial intelligence. Results indicate that value chain and future-oriented dimensions, which were more pronounced in mature CSR concepts, foster CSR disclosure, while introversive corporate identity dimensions that were strong in low level CSR concepts hinder the release of CSR information. The paper shows that a tradition of social responsibility and values results into a low perceived need for legitimacy and outwards communication. The findings support the view that that a combination of voluntary disclosure theory and legitimacy theory is necessary to explain the drivers and constraints of CSR disclosure.