Factors Influencing the Development of CSR Reporting Practices: Experts’ versus Preparers’ Points of View
Reporting of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming nowadays an important and rapidly growing phenomenon in the world. The current increase in the number of companies reporting on CSR data is caused by many different factors, including stakeholder pressures, the economic crisis, growing awareness of sustainability issues as well as appearance of more and more new reporting requirements initiated by national governments and stock exchanges.
Despite the growing popularity of CSR reporting it is still only a small percentage of companies which decided to regularly disclose their data on CSR activities. Therefore the question raises what factors influence the development of CSR reporting practices? The paper presents the results of research which aim was to attempt to answer the above question, highlighting especially the role of government in the process.
The study was carried out using two web-based surveys. The questionnaires were dedicated to respondents from different European Union member states. The first group of respondents consist of specialists, consultants, researchers and academics specializing in the field of CSR reporting – ‘experts’ and the second group consist of CSR managers, employees involved in developing CSR reports – ‘preparers’.
The results suggest that report ‘preparers’ and external ‘experts’ have a different view on some aspects e.g. reasons to issue a CSR report. The survey also shows that there is a need for a greater participation of government in the development of sustainability reporting practices.