Purpose – The authors aims to examine, first, what factors appear to lead those US companies that do obtain assurance on their CSR reports to do so, and second, whether this assurance appears to be valued by market participants. Design/methodology/approach – The authors use logistic regression analysis to determine what factors explain the choice to seek assurance. For the second stage of the analysis, the authors rely on Aboody et al. 's market valuation model to examine the association between CSR report assurance and firm value. Findings – The authors find that industry membership and disclosure extensiveness both appear to influence the choice to attain third‐party assurance on CSR reports in the USA. However, the results also indicate that the assurance is not associated with higher market value for report‐issuing companies. Research limitations/implications – The authors examine only large firms and limit the investigation to a single year. Further, the authors do not examine market valuation effects where a broader stakeholder orientation might influence these relations. Practical implications – The results suggest that improving the incidence of CSR report attestation in the USA may require efforts from the assurance community to better identify the potential benefits of the practice. Originality/value – This is the first study to focus on CSR report assurance in a setting where country‐level influences appear to limit adoption of the practice. As such, the findings are potentially important for understanding both the low incidence of assurance and what might be necessary to increase its use.
Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 6, 2014
Keywords: Assurance; CSR reporting; Market valuation
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