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Title: The type and quantity of corporate social disclosures of german 'universal' banks
Authors: Menassa, Elie 
Brodhäcker, Martina
Affiliations: Department of Business Administration 
Keywords: Legitimacy theory
Corporate social disclosure
Subjects: Corporate social responsibility
Universal banks
Issue Date: 2017
Part of: Journal of management & governance
Volume: 21
Issue: 1
Start page: 119
End page: 143
Grounded in legitimacy theory and deductive in nature, this paper uses content analysis of annual report social disclosures of 169 German 'universal banks belonging to three different categories (credit, saving, and cooperative) to report on the type and quantity of social disclosure by these banks, and to test seven hypotheses related to the nature of their social disclosures and their association with size, financial performance, corporate form, and other selected variables. The findings provide evidence of the importance of social disclosure for the German banking sector as a means to legitimize their business and relay to the society the extent of their fulfillment of social obligations. Greater importance is attributed to product and customers as well as human resource disclosures. In addition, a strong positive association is found between these disclosures and the size variables as well as the number of apprentices, whereas ROE and net profits as financial performance proxies provide evidence of a significant relationship. Furthermore, the findings indicate that the quantity of social disclosure varies with bank category, corporate form and listing status, but seems to be almost unrelated to bank age and overseas presence. These promising findings could be used to inform corporate social responsibility policies and practices of German banks; nevertheless, further longitudinal analysis to validate them over time is warranted.
DOI: 10.1007/s10997-015-9336-y
Open URL: Link to full text
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Department of Business Administration

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