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SLAPPed: the relationship between SLAPP suits and changed ESG reporting by firms

SLAPPed: the relationship between SLAPP suits and changed ESG reporting by firms Purpose – This paper aims to explore any potential link between the corporate issue of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) with a changed environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting focus as part of a complementary communicative legitimation strategy. Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal content analysis of the annual reports of three sample Australian corporations was undertaken, measuring changes in ESG disclosure levels and disclosure focus around the time a SLAPP was issued by each sample firm. Findings – This paper provides support for the contention that both the number of ESG disclosures and the type of ESG disclosures changed after the sample firms issued SLAPPs. Research limitations/implications – A number of limitations are identified within the paper, including difficulties identifying when SLAPPs are initiated. Originality/value – To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first investigation of the relationship between SLAPPs and ESG reporting, and this study helps open up a new area of research into how ESG reporting is used by corporations in a strategic manner. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

SLAPPed: the relationship between SLAPP suits and changed ESG reporting by firms

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/SAMPJ-12-2014-0084
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to explore any potential link between the corporate issue of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) with a changed environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting focus as part of a complementary communicative legitimation strategy. Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal content analysis of the annual reports of three sample Australian corporations was undertaken, measuring changes in ESG disclosure levels and disclosure focus around the time a SLAPP was issued by each sample firm. Findings – This paper provides support for the contention that both the number of ESG disclosures and the type of ESG disclosures changed after the sample firms issued SLAPPs. Research limitations/implications – A number of limitations are identified within the paper, including difficulties identifying when SLAPPs are initiated. Originality/value – To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first investigation of the relationship between SLAPPs and ESG reporting, and this study helps open up a new area of research into how ESG reporting is used by corporations in a strategic manner.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Mar 7, 2016

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