The fight against corruption in Portugal: evidence from sustainability reports

Author:Manuel Castelo Branco, Dina Matos
Position:Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal; Alert Life Sciences Computing SA, Porto, Portugal
Pages:132-142
SUMMARY

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to analyse the disclosure of information on the fight against corruption in the sustainability reports of Portuguese companies. Design/methodology/approach - Anti-corruption disclosure in the sustainability reports for 2009 of Portuguese firms, published on the website of the Portugal’s Business... (see full summary)

 
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The ght against corruption in
Portugal: evidence from
sustainability reports
Manuel Castelo Branco
Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, OBEGEF, Porto, Portugal, and
Dina Matos
Alert Life Sciences Computing SA, Porto, Portugal
Abstract
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to analyse the disclosure of information on the ght against
corruption in the sustainability reports of Portuguese companies.
Design/methodology/approach – Anti-corruption disclosure in the sustainability reports for 2009
of Portuguese rms, published on the website of the Portugal’s Business Council for Sustainability
Development, is analysed. Three hypotheses are tested about associations between such disclosure and
rm-specic variables.
Findings – Companies with a high visibility in terms of risk of corruption (companies in sectors with
higher risk and government-owned companies) and companies that engage in association with the
United Nations Global Compact seem to exhibit greater concern to improve the corporate image through
disclosure.
Research limitations/implications There may be content analysis issues associated with
subjectivity in the coding process and the use of a limited content analysis method.
Originality/value This paper adds to the scarce research on the ght against corruption in
corporate social responsibility and the reporting thereof by providing new empirical data.
Keywords Corruption, Portugal, Corporate social responsibility, Sustainability reports
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) pertains to the voluntary integration of social and
environmental concerns in companies’ operations and interaction with stakeholders
(European Commission, 2001, p. 8). Throughout this study, the term CSR is used to
encompass the areas of human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption,
covered by the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). In a recent
report, produced by the UNGC and Accenture, the term “sustainability” has been used
with a similar signicance (Lacy et al., 2010).
Corruption may be dened as:
[…] the act or effect of giving or receiving a thing of value, in order that a person do or omit to
do something, in violation of a formal or implicit rule about what that person ought to do or
omit to do, to the benet of the person who gives the thing of value or a third party (Argandoña,
2005, p. 252).
It possesses some characteristics that distinguish it from other issues pertaining to
social responsibility. In particular, it is substantially more difcult to detect and
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/1359-0790.htm
JFC
23,1
132
Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.23 No. 1, 2016
pp.132-142
©Emerald Group Publishing Limited
1359-0790
DOI 10.1108/JFC-05-2014-0027

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