Title

Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting: A Case for Southern Africa

Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Public Relations

Advisor(s)

Hua Jiang

Second Advisor

Dennis Kinsey

Keywords

corporate social responsibility, CSR, CSR reporting

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

The study incorporates into the literature review from various disciplines such as strategic management, public relations, accounting and auditing. Qualitative content analysis research method was applied with references made to secondary research drawn from books, articles and electronic databases.

The purpose of this thesis was to systematically analyze corporate social responsibility (CSR) content featured in the annual reports of 14 leading Southern African companies for the 2013 financial year. The objective of the study was to investigate how Southern African companies report on corporate social responsibility initiatives. The following research questions were addressed:

Research Question 1: How are CSR reporting trends manifested in Annual Reports?

Research Question 2: What is the scope of CSR activities demonstrated?

Research Question 3: Is there a clear mandate for undertaking CSR strategies?

The following trends were identified: commitment to the community, corporate pledge to society, scope of activities, employees living the values and declaration of CSR spending. The study found that the scope of CSR activities demonstrated seems to support sustainable development as an overarching concept for engaging in CSR. Lastly, companies did display a clear mandate for carrying out CSR initiatives.

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