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Expressions of corporate social responsibility in U.K. firms

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This study examines corporate publications of U.K. firms to investigate the nature of corporate social responsibility disclosure. Using a stakeholder approach to corporate social responsibility, our results suggest a hierarchical model of disclosure: from general rhetoric to specific endeavors to implementation and monitoring. Industry differences in attention to specific stakeholder groups are noted. These differences suggest the need to understand the effects on social responsibility disclosure of factors in a firm's immediate operating environment, such as the extent of government regulation and level of competitiveness in the industry.

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Diana C. Robertson is an Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Business Ethics at the London Business School. She was previously Assistant Professor of Legal Studies at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. In 1990, she was awarded the University of Pennsylvania Provost's Award for Distinguished Teaching, and in 1992 she received a Wharton School Undergraduate Teaching Award. Her research interests include the impact of corporate policy, particularly codes of ethics, and compensation and control systems on employees' ethical behaviour, and the diffusion of ethical practices among corporations. She has published articles in the Sloan Management Review, Journal of Business Ethics, Organization Science, and Business Ethics Quarterly.

Professional Nigel Nicholson is Chairman of the Organisational Behaviour Group and Director of the Centre for Organisation Research at London Business School. Previously, he led investigations into Individual and Organisational Change at Sheffield University's Social & Applied Psychology Unit, and has also held visiting appointments at American, Canadian and German universities. He has published eight books and over 65 articles on a wide range of topics, and been honoured with an award from the Academy of Management for his contribution to theory.

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Robertson, D.C., Nicholson, N. Expressions of corporate social responsibility in U.K. firms. J Bus Ethics 15, 1095–1106 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00412050

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  • Economic Growth
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Social Responsibility
  • Operating Environment
  • Government Regulation