Corporate social reporting in a transition economy: the case of Libya
Cowton, Christopher J.
- Publisher: Financial Ethics and Governance Research Group University of Huddersfield
Research that considers corporate social reporting (CSR) in emerging economies is still limited and Libya remains a rich point of departure for studies of other transitioning or developing economies, particularly those in the Arab world. This paper therefore aims to investigate whether and, if so, how changes are reflected in social accounting disclosure practices. A sample of 270 annual reports from 54 companies, both public and private across a range of sectors and covering a five year period, were analysed using content analysis to ascertain the state of, and trends in, corporate social reporting by Libyan companies. Additionally a survey questionnaire was administered to financial managers to explore their views and perceptions, as producers of financial reports, on the current state of corporate reporting in general and social reporting in particular, to gain some insight into their motivations and to elicit their opinions on the future of CSR. These two methods were together utilized to develop a fuller and richer picture of corporate social disclosure in Libya. During the five year period examined, CSR remained largely unresponsive to significant changes in the political scene with disclosure at a low level compared with developed countries and only in certain areas. As well as providing insights into CSR in a transition economy, this suggests further research is needed to illuminate the role and influence of societal culture and to understand the impact of organisational and professional or quasi-professional subculture on disclosure and responsibility practices.
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