Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 151, Issue 2, pp 429–450 | Cite as

The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure on Corporate Reputation: A Non-professional Stakeholder Perspective

  • Anastasia Axjonow
  • Jürgen Ernstberger
  • Christiane PottEmail author


This paper examines the impact of corporate social responsibility (CSR) disclosure on corporate reputation as perceived by non-professional stakeholders. Proponents of CSR disclosure argue that CSR disclosure can be considered as a tool for reputation management. We empirically investigate this claim using a reputation index which tracks the general public’s perceptions of corporate reputation over time. In our analysis, we focus on disclosure in stand-alone CSR reports and control for CSR performance. We find that, in contrast to the common belief, stand-alone CSR reports do not influence corporate reputation among non-professional stakeholders. However, we are able to document that stand-alone CSR reports influence corporate reputation among professional stakeholders. We also provide some evidence that transparent CSR disclosure on corporate websites can influence corporate reputation among non-professional stakeholders.


Corporate reputation Corporate social responsibility disclosure Non-professional stakeholders’ perceptions Professional stakeholders Voluntary disclosure 

JEL Classification

L14 M14 M41 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anastasia Axjonow
    • 1
  • Jürgen Ernstberger
    • 2
  • Christiane Pott
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.TU Dortmund UniversityDortmundGermany
  2. 2.Technical University of MunichMunichGermany

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