ON-LINE DATABASE of SCIENTIFIC PAPERS
10.5593/sgemsocial2017/15/S05.081

MEASURING RESPONSIBILITY – TESTING A CONTENT ANALYSIS TOOL ON SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING OF LARGE FINNISH COMPANIES

M. Kooskora, A. Salovaara
Thursday 28 September 2017 by Libadmin2017

References: 4th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2017, www.sgemsocial.org, SGEM2017 Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-17-1 / ISSN 2367-5659, 24 - 30 August, 2017, Book 1, Vol 5, 643-650 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2017/15/S05.081

ABSTRACT

Recent years have shown the increased importance in Corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting, especially among large multinational corporations. The European Di-rective 2014/95/EU requires that so-called ‘large public-interest entities’ – companies with more than 500 employees – start reporting on their non-financial indicators. How-ever there is a ‘significant flexibility’ in the disclosure of non-financial information, since no agreed-upon guidelines on CSR reporting exist. As companies are free to report on legally or ethically required issues with no set of standards, opportunities for non-trans-parency abound and therefore research on CSR measures – existing and new – is needed. Our paper contributes to this line of research by assessing the reported sustainability prac-tices of large Finnish multinational companies by employing a rather novel content anal-ysis tool, the modified Sustainability Evaluation Checklist (SEC), originated from Ameer and Othman, [1]. After modification 52 items, divided into the four sustainability dimen-sions: the environmental (EI), the ethical (ETI), the diversity (DI), and the community (CI) indices were used to analyse GRI reports from multiple sectors. The study revealed that Finnish multinational companies report relatively comprehensively on environmental issues and the companies have drafted conclusive codes of conduct that cover interna-tional as well as internal ethical considerations, at least on some level. As for diversity issues, the role of women in management is generally recognised, yet actual practices related to increasing equality are still few, moreover minorities or the disabled as part of the workforce were not an active concern for most of the businesses. Positive interaction with local communities was generally confined to partnership or minor co-operation with a local school or university, however actual social responsibility practices with or toward local stakeholders were not included in the CI. Testing the suitability of SEC in Finnish context showed its capability of assessing sustainability practices as found in corporate reporting, however revising some index items and adding new ones should be considered. The SEC was found to function on analysing large multinational companies, but its ap-proach is likely unable to assess the practices of smaller businesses with relatively short sustainability-related reports.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, Finland, Multinational Corporations, RE-porting, Sustainability