The views of corporate managers on the current state of, and future prospects for, social reporting in Bangladesh: an engagement based study

Ataur R. Belal, David L. Owen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Purpose – This paper seeks to respond to recent calls for more engagement-based studies of corporate social reporting (CSR) practice by examining the views of corporate managers on the current state of, and future prospects for, social reporting in Bangladesh. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a series of interviews with senior managers from 23 Bangladeshi companies representing the multinational, domestic private and public sectors. Findings – Key findings are that the main motivation behind current reporting practice lies in a desire on the part of corporate management to manage powerful stakeholder groups, whilst perceived pressure from external forces, notably parent companies' instructions and demands from international buyers, is driving the process forward. In the latter context it appears that adoption of international social accounting standards and codes is likely to become more prevalent in the future. Reservations are expressed as to whether such a passive compliance strategy is likely to achieve much in the way of real changes in corporate behaviour, particularly when Western developed standards and codes are imposed without consideration of local cultural, economic and social factors. Indeed, such imposition could be regarded as little more than an example of the erection of non-tariff trade barriers rather than representing any meaningful move towards empowering indigenous stakeholder groups. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the literature on CSR in developing countries where there is a distinct lack of engagement-based published studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-494
Number of pages23
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Volume20
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • corporate social responsibility
  • disclosure
  • accounting standards
  • compliance
  • developing countries
  • Bangladesh

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