Date of Award

1-1-1996

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Business

Faculty

Faculty of Business

First Advisor

Theo Christopher

Abstract

This study examines the incentives of Australian listed mineral mining companies within the stakeholder theoretical framework to disclose socially responsible information in their corporate annual report. The three dimensions of the stakeholder theory were empirically tested to explain the association of a social disclosure model comprising categories of social disclosure for environment, energy, product and services, human resources and community involvement, with nine firm-specific characteristics. The sample of 179 Australian listed mineral mining companies for the financial year ending 1994 was obtained by personal contact. The extent of social disclosure was measured by a dichotomous index against the social disclosure model. Results of multivariate tests provide evidence that Membership of the Australian Mining Industry Council (Stakeholder Power dimension), and company size (a Control Variable) which was jointly represented by three surrogates (total assets, total sales, and market capitalisation), to be the most significant variables associated with the social disclosure model. The presence of a social responsibility group (Strategic Posture dimension) was also significantly related to the extent of total disclosure and four categories of social disclosure (environment, product and services, human resources, and community involvement). Company age (a Control Variable) was significantly associated with energy related disclosure. Commercial production (a Control Variable) was significant to the total disclosure and two categories of social disclosure (environment, and human resources). Return on equity, and systematic risk (Economic Performance dimension) did not explain social disclosure. The research findings imply that economic performance measures derived from the financial statements of corporate annual reports do not seem to be reliable surrogates for evaluating voluntary social disclosure. To improve the extent of disclosure of socially responsible information, accounting regulators may need to consider issuing an accounting standard on corporate social responsibility disclosure.

Included in

Accounting Commons

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