Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting through the Lens of ISO 26000: A Case of Malawian Quoted Companies

  •  Andrew Lipunga    


The paper examines the status of corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting in the annual reports of Malawian quoted companies through the lens of ISO 26000 - Guidance on social responsibility. The study used content analysis methodology. A CSR disclosure index was developed based on ISO 26000’s seven core subjects of social responsibility to measure the level of CSR information disclosure in the annual reports for 2012 and 2013. The results indicate that all the sampled companies were making some CSR disclosures in their annual reports; however the disclosure levels are generally low. Out of the seven CSR themes, the companies scored highly only on organisational governance category and above average on community involvement and development and labour practices categories. On the other hand, they scored poorly on human rights, consumer issues, fair operating practices and environment categories. Furthermore, low individual company scores and the overall score suggest that much more effort is needed to enhance CSR reporting among Malawian quoted companies. The study seems to highlight that there is low awareness amongst the preparers of annual reports regarding all relevant categories that make up CSR. Thus the study recommends promotion of ISO 26000 among them in order to promote holistic approach to CSR that may lead to holistic CSR reporting.

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