Assessing the Influence of Ethical Leadership Behaviours, Leadership Styles and Leader Roles as Determinants of Online Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Disclosures in Malaysia

Abd Rahim, Nazarah (2016) Assessing the Influence of Ethical Leadership Behaviours, Leadership Styles and Leader Roles as Determinants of Online Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Disclosures in Malaysia. PhD thesis, University of Gloucestershire.

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Currently corporate scandals are making headlines in the news. Stakeholders are demanding transparency through better information disclosure in order to curtail this problem and to regain trust. Businesses must find better and more effective ways of communicating not only financial but also non-financial information to these stakeholders. Information disclosures in both annual reports and on websites are important but the two media are used differently. Online CSR disclosures provide timely information and will meet stakeholders’ demands for greater speed and volume of information disclosure. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate the current level of online CSR disclosures among public listed companies in Malaysia, with particular reference to the influence of leadership variables. This study seeks to explain any variations in online CSR disclosures by using the following variables as the explanatory factors: ethical leadership behaviours, consisting of people orientation, fairness, power sharing, concern for sustainability, ethical guidance, role clarification and integrity; leadership styles, comprising transactional and transformational leadership styles; and leader roles. In investigating this issue, a quantitative approach was employed using a sample of 100 top Malaysian public listed companies. The data collection started with examining corporate websites using a disclosure index, followed by a questionnaire survey to grasp employees’ opinions on their leaders’ ethical leadership behaviours, leadership styles and leader roles. Due to the limitations of a quantitative approach, seven semi-structured interviews with managers were conducted to give context to the quantitative findings as well as supplement the data. The results show that Malaysian companies’ level of online CSR disclosure was low and the majority of companies did not fully utilise their websites to disseminate CSR information, although all the companies had websites. The results of the multiple regression indicated that ethical guidance, concern for sustainability and integrity contributed to the amount of CSR information disclosed on the Malaysian companies’ websites but interestingly, these were inverse relationships. Consequently, the interview findings revealed that not all leadership variables were perceived by managers to be determinants of online CSR disclosures. The inverse relationships were possibly due to factors such as leader’s confidence, moral recognition, personal recognition, external factors and cultural factors. This research contributes to the understanding of corporate voluntary disclosure strategies through the focus on online CSR disclosure. Prior disclosure studies emphasize financial, accounting and economic related variables as determinants to online CSR disclosures. This study provides a new insight for company leaders, policy makers and academics on how the behaviours of leaders, who are key corporate players, can impact the setting of CSR goals and enhance transparency by disclosing online.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Advisors:
Thesis AdvisorEmailURL
Uncontrolled Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Social Media, Malaysia
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD60 Social responsibility in business
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2016 13:26
Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 08:17

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