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Keywords:

  • corporate governance;
  • corporate social responsibility;
  • disclosure;
  • multinationals;
  • shareholder;
  • stakeholder;
  • reporting

Abstract

In recent years, not only has attention to corporate governance increased but also the notion has broadened considerably, and started to cover some aspects traditionally seen as being part of corporate social responsibility (CSR). CSR, corporate governance and their interlink seem particularly relevant for multinational enterprises (MNEs), which, due to their activities in multiple contexts around the world and concomitant visibility, generally face higher demands to be transparent and disclose information about such issues. Insights into whether and in which cases disclosures on the two topics actually merge has been very limited, however. This paper analyses to what extent corporate governance has become integrated in MNEs' disclosure practices on CSR. Based on an analysis of CSR reporting of Fortune Global 250 companies, findings show that more than half of them have a separate corporate governance section in their CSR report and/or explicitly link corporate governance and CSR issues. We also found that MNEs that disclose information on a wider variety of social and environmental issues and frame CSR with a focus on internal issues are more inclined to integrate corporate governance into their CSR reporting. This integration seems to be a global phenomenon that cuts across countries and sectors. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.