Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting: A User Perspective

  • Renfred Wong

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Most extant studies of corporate social and environmental reporting (CSER) tend to examine the volume of CSER by companies. In contrast, the significance of this thesis lies in its focus on key stakeholders who are users of CSER and their needs. The perspectives of multiple key stakeholders, including investing, procuring and campaigning stakeholders, are investigated with respect to what they perceive to be valuable social and environmental reporting in supporting decision making. This thesis also goes beyond CSER and examines social and environmental reporting from other sources, including but not limited to reporting arising from private meetings between companies and stakeholders and information about companies’ social and environmental impact or performance from information intermediaries. Stakeholder perceptions on the value and the qualitative characteristics of social and environmental reporting have been sought through semi-structured questionnaire with individuals drawn from the key stakeholder groups. Consistent with stakeholder theory, it is expected that stakeholder needs may vary. The findings in this thesis support a hypothesised relationship between the value of social and environmental reporting and information qualitative characteristics. Other key findings show that the availability of social and environmental reporting affects stakeholders’ extent of use of social and environmental reporting and that the drivers for the value of information and the extent of use of information are different. The findings present important implications for both company managers and policy-makers. Company managers are better informed concerning stakeholder information needs. Thus they are better equipped to make decisions about the extent, scope and form of CSER. Furthermore, this thesis enables policy-makers to assess whether CSER requirements under current regulatory mechanisms reflect stakeholder needs. Finally this thesis has contributed towards enriching literature in the CSER area.
Date of Award31 Jul 2012
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorAndrew Millington (Supervisor) & Philip Cooper (Supervisor)


  • corporate social and environmental reporting

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