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Emerging phenomenon of corporate social and environmental reporting in China

Emerging phenomenon of corporate social and environmental reporting in China PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the motivations underpinning recent evolving corporate social and environmental reporting (CSER) among enterprises in China through the lenses of senior managers.Design/methodology/approachUsing the interpretive tenets of engagement research, semi-structured in-depth interviews were adopted to explore the perceptions of senior managers from 21 large companies in various industries. The aim is to make sense of the emerging CSER phenomenon occurring in the field through engagement, observation and penetrating interviews.FindingsThe findings identify the main enablers driving CSER in China as: regulations and government influence; management awareness; benefits to company image; peer pressure/reporting by peers and public pressure on controversial companies. Guided by a system-based theoretical framework in terms of motivations for CSER, this study offers insights into the effectiveness of using widely adopted Western-based theoretical approaches in a Chinese context where companies operate against a different socio-economic, political, regulatory and cultural backdrop.Research limitations/implicationsThe deep-rooted face (Mianzi) culture has the potential to influence managers to portray a positive image about their companies and themselves.Originality/valueThis engagement-based study is one of the few initiatives exploring managerial perceptions of CSER in China that adds to the scant literature pertaining to rich “emic” data in accounting, encompassing cultural influence by applying systems-oriented theoretical framework. The stimulus for CSER identified are useful for regulators and organizations to better comprehend how to set effective policies that promote CSER and fit the distinctive institutional characteristics of China. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

Emerging phenomenon of corporate social and environmental reporting in China

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/SAMPJ-09-2016-0064
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to explore the motivations underpinning recent evolving corporate social and environmental reporting (CSER) among enterprises in China through the lenses of senior managers.Design/methodology/approachUsing the interpretive tenets of engagement research, semi-structured in-depth interviews were adopted to explore the perceptions of senior managers from 21 large companies in various industries. The aim is to make sense of the emerging CSER phenomenon occurring in the field through engagement, observation and penetrating interviews.FindingsThe findings identify the main enablers driving CSER in China as: regulations and government influence; management awareness; benefits to company image; peer pressure/reporting by peers and public pressure on controversial companies. Guided by a system-based theoretical framework in terms of motivations for CSER, this study offers insights into the effectiveness of using widely adopted Western-based theoretical approaches in a Chinese context where companies operate against a different socio-economic, political, regulatory and cultural backdrop.Research limitations/implicationsThe deep-rooted face (Mianzi) culture has the potential to influence managers to portray a positive image about their companies and themselves.Originality/valueThis engagement-based study is one of the few initiatives exploring managerial perceptions of CSER in China that adds to the scant literature pertaining to rich “emic” data in accounting, encompassing cultural influence by applying systems-oriented theoretical framework. The stimulus for CSER identified are useful for regulators and organizations to better comprehend how to set effective policies that promote CSER and fit the distinctive institutional characteristics of China.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 3, 2017

References