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

T. Soobaroyen, J.D. Mahadeo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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

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”).

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.

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)452-482
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2016


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