Companies increasingly view corporate social responsibility (CSR) as an important dimension of corporate reputation. This is at least partly motivated by the understanding that a strong CSR reputation can enhance profits. This research examines how self-reporting of CSR activities links to corporations’ CSR reputation. Broadly, a company can opt to (a) voluntarily embrace self-reporting and describe its CSR policies and performance to stakeholders or (b) stay silent in this regard. We find a positive link between CSR self-reporting and a company’s social responsibility reputation and, more interestingly, show that companies are more apt to report this information when (a) their activities have a greater adverse environment impact and (b) have policies that are evaluated favorably by a third party. CSR self-reporting mediates the effects of third-party evaluations and improves the CSR reputation of companies. Moreover, consistent with prior research, we show that improvements in CSR reputation enhance profits.
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For the rest of the paper, for simplicity, we use CSR Policies and CSR Impacts instead of Third-Party Reporting of CSR Policies and Third-Party Reporting of CSR Impacts, respectively.
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The authors would like to thank Rachel Murdukhayev for providing editing assistance.
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Johnson, Z., Ashoori, M.T. & Lee, Y.J. Self-Reporting CSR Activities: When Your Company Harms, Do You Self-Disclose?. Corp Reputation Rev 21, 153–164 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41299-018-0051-x
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- Brand reputation
- CSR self-reporting
- Environmental impact
- Environmental policies