Purpose: This study examines the bi-directional relationship between corporate social responsibility disclosure (CSRD) and ownership structure through a dynamic empirical framework in an emerging economy context. Design/methodology/approach: Data over 10 years are used to investigate the response of disclosure to ownership structure variables and vice versa. Dynamic bi-directional relationships are hypothesised and empirically investigated using a panel vector autoregressive (PVAR) model. The ownership structure variables used are government ownership, block ownership and director ownership, while CSRD is constructed as a score through content analysis. Findings: A bi-directional negative relationship between CSRD and government ownership is found, revealing a preference for the state to invest in companies with opaque disclosure. CSRD is found to respond negatively to block ownership, albeit weakly. Results also show that directors prefer to own shares in the company they manage when there are low levels of CSRD. Research limitations/implications: The current empirical set-up of using a small emerging economy may not carry to the context of larger emerging economies where the institutional context may differ. Thus, future research could use this dynamic empirical approach to re-examine the questions raised in this paper using data from other emerging economies. The use of a longer time series makes it feasible to explore further analysis what was not possible in this study, such as an impulse response analysis examining the reaction of the variables of interest, CSRD and ownership variables for a specific time horizon to particular changes or shocks associated with one of the endogenous variables in the PVAR. Practical implications: A major implication is that expecting disclosure practices to improve due to government and director initiatives would be less likely in emerging economies. State and director shareholders prefer to invest in opaque companies because they may purposely choose to keep the minimum disclosure levels. The paper calls for a transparent process and ethical guidelines to guide government investment in firms. Originality/value: The study investigates the bi-directional relationship between ownership structure and CSRD in contrast to the existing literature's presupposed one-way relationship between these variables by demonstrating that bi-directionality does matter. This paper also contributes to the CSRD literature in the emerging economy context. The bi-directional negative relationship between CSRD and government ownership calls for a transparent selection process of board members as representatives of the state in those companies where the government has an ownership stake. It also calls for a transparent process and ethical guidelines to guide government investment in firms.
- Bi-directional relationship
- Emerging economy
- Ownership structure
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
- Information Systems and Management