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Community disclosures in a developing country: insights from a neo-pluralist perspective


Soobaroyen, T and Mahadeo, JD, Community disclosures in a developing country: insights from a neo-pluralist perspective, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 29, (3) pp. 452-482. ISSN 0951-3574 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited

DOI: doi:10.1108/AAAJ-08-2014-1810


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse changes in community disclosures by listed companies in Mauritius.

Design/methodology/approach: The authors carried out a quantitative and qualitative assessment of annual report disclosures over the period 2004-2010. In particular, the authors consider the influence of a corporate governance code and a government intervention to first persuade and subsequently mandate corporate social responsibility investment (known as a "CSR Levy").

Findings: From a predominantly limited and neutral form of communication, narratives of community involvement morph into assertive and rhetorical statements, emphasising commitment, permanency and an intimate connection to the community and a re-organisation of activities and priorities which seek to portray structure and order in the way companies deliver community interventions. Informed by Gray et al.’s (1995) neo-pluralist framework and documentary evidence pertaining to the country’s social, political and economic context, the authors relate the change in disclosures to the use of corporate impression management techniques with a view to maintain legitimacy and to counter the predominant public narrative on the insufficient extent of community involvement by local companies.

Research limitations/implications: The authors find that community disclosures are not only legitimating mechanisms driven by international pressures but are also the result of local tensions and expectations.

Originality/value: This study provides evidence on forms of "social" – as opposed to environmental – disclosures. Furthermore, it examines a unique setting where a government enacted a legally binding regime for greater corporate social involvement.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:csr, legitimacy theory, developing economy, stakeholder theory, classical political economic theory, community disclosures
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, auditing and accountability
Research Field:Sustainability accounting and reporting
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Ethics
Objective Field:Environmental ethics
UTAS Author:Mahadeo, JD (Dr Brinda Mahadeo)
ID Code:132693
Year Published:2019 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:33
Deposited By:Management
Deposited On:2019-05-16
Last Modified:2019-07-05

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