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The influence of global, country and firm-level governance on social and environmental reporting: Evidence from developing countries

Ullah, Md. Shahid (2020) The influence of global, country and firm-level governance on social and environmental reporting: Evidence from developing countries. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The study examines the influence of global, country and firm-level governance on social and environmental reporting (SER) in developing countries from the institutional perspective. Using the Bloomberg ESG disclosure, worldwide governance indicators, and other databases for 45 developing countries from 2007–2016, the study examines the influence of global, country and firm-level governance on SER. Results show that all three levels of governance have significant positive influences on SER, with global governance having the strongest influence on SER in developing countries. By interviewing 26 corporate and 23 non-corporate interviewees, the study explores ‘why and how’ the global, country and firm-level governance influence SER in Bangladesh, as a case of developing countries. The findings show that SER in Bangladesh is mainly driven by the coercive pressures from the global market, followed by the normative pressures from the firm-level, and the cultural-cognitive pressures from the country-level. Specifically, SER is primarily aimed at mitigating the coercive pressures from the powerful economic stakeholders, namely international buyers and lenders followed by the normative pressures at the firm-level to be endorsed for SER, thereby branding and expanding the business both at home and abroad. The country governance in Bangladesh is not conducive for SER due to the absence of coercive pressures (there is coercion for political donations, not for SER), normative pressures (lack of national guidelines for SER or CSR), and cultural cognitive pressures (lack of awareness of and interest in SER). The firm-level governance in Bangladesh is mainly superficial, and the inclusion of the so-called independent directors and female directors does not necessarily promote SER. The ‘board independence’ and ‘board gender-diversity’ are ‘in appearance’ rather than ‘in fact’, because of the lack of independent mindset, knowledge and expertise, benefit dependency (co-option), family control, patriarchy, male dominance, and honour culture. Findings indicate that SER is largely symbolic and used as an expedient response to the coercive as well as normative pressures exerted by the international powerful economic stakeholders followed by the normative pressures and expertise of SER at the firm-level for promoting the financial wellbeing of the reporting entities, rather than ensuring accountability, transparency and social justice in developing countries.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Global governance, country governance, firm-level governance,social and environmental reporting, CSR, developing countries, Bangladesh
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Management School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.806887
Depositing User: Mr Md. Shahid Ullah
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2020 10:29
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2020 09:53
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26837

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