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Community disclosures in a developing country: insights from a neo-pluralist perspective
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to analyse changes in community disclosures by listed companies in Mauritius.
Design/methodology/approach: 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”).
Findings: 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.
Originality/value: 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.
Publication titleAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
Rights statementCopyright 2016 Emerald Group Publishing Limited