The ght against corruption in
Portugal: evidence from
Manuel Castelo Branco
Faculty of Economics, University of Porto, OBEGEF, Porto, Portugal, and
Alert Life Sciences Computing SA, Porto, Portugal
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
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
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
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 signicance (Lacy et al., 2010).
Corruption may be dened 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 benet 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 difcult to detect and
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Journalof Financial Crime
Vol.23 No. 1, 2016
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