The Importance of Ownership Monitoring and Firm on CSR .pdf



Nom original: The Importance of Ownership Monitoring and Firm on CSR.pdf
Titre: The Importance of Ownership Monitoring and Firm Resources on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of Financial Institutions
Auteur: Faizah Darus

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Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 145 (2014) 173 – 180

ICGSM 2014

The importance of ownership monitoring and firm resources on
corporate social responsibility (CSR) of financial institutions
Faizah Darusa*, Salina Madb, and Haslinda Yusoffc*
a

Accounting Research Institute (ARI,) Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam,40450 Selangor, MALAYSIA
b
Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam,40450 Selangor, Malaysia.
c
Faculty of Accountancy, Universiti Teknologi MARA Shah Alam,40450 Selangor, Malaysia.

Abstract
The aim of this study is to examine the determinants of CSR reporting for financial institutions in the context of stakeholder and
resource-based theory in an emerging market. The information for CSR reporting was extracted via content analysis from
relevant sections of the annual and sustainability reports of financial institutions in Malaysia over a four-year period from 2008 2011. The results of the study revealed that customers are powerful stakeholders in financial institutions and can influence CSR
reporting. However, concentrated ownership structure of financial institutions can hinder CSR reporting as management will
disclose less CSR information due to the lesser number of shareholders exerting pressure.
© 2014 Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
© 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the Accounting Research Institute, Universiti Teknologi MARA.
Peer-review under responsibility of the Accounting Research Institute, Universiti Teknologi MARA.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility; Financial Institutions; Reporting; Emerging Market;

1. Introduction

* Corresponding author. Tel.: +603-55435786
E-mail address:faiza634@salam.uitm.edu.my

1877-0428 © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).
Peer-review under responsibility of the Accounting Research Institute, Universiti Teknologi MARA.
doi:10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.06.024

174

Faizah Darus et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 145 (2014) 173 – 180

The emergence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in business organizations for the past three decades
triggers the need for financial institutions to be more concerned about their social responsibility. In this study, the
determinants of CSR reporting for financial institutions in the context of stakeholder and resource-based theory were
examined. The focus on financial institutions in this study is because in today’s economy with more corporate
failures and financial crisis, financial institutions can play a more critical role in fulfilling their moral and ethical
objectives by undertaking more CSR initiatives. The stakeholder theory and the resource-based theory were used to
underpin the motivations for financial institutions to disclose their CSR activities as prior literature suggests that the
disclosure of CSR information by financial institutions was mainly directed towards answering the consequences of
their decisions to their stakeholders, (see for example Fontaine, Haarman and Schmid, 2006). Meanwhile from the
resource-based perspective, it is argued that the extra resources that financial institutions have will encourage them
to be involved in more innovative projects to facilitate competitive advantages (Branco and Rodrigues 2006).
The remainder of this paper is organized as follows. Section 2 discusses the literature review and hypotheses
generation. Section 3 discusses the research methodology. The research findings are reviewed in Section 4. The final
section highlights the conclusion and implications of the results.
2. Literature Review and Hypotheses Generation
Prior studies that examined CSR practices among financial institutions globally found that the CSR practices
among financial institutions were still varied and were focusing on certain dimension (Douglas, Doris and Johnson,
2004; Menassa, 2010; Abu-Baker and Naser, 2000; Khan, Halabi and Samy, 2009; Khan, 2010; Khan, Islam, Fatima
and Ahmed, 2011). For example, Menassa (2010) and Abu-Baker and Naser (2000) found that Lebanese and
Jordanian banks were becoming aware of their social and ethical behavior, however the banks were giving more
priority towards human capital and customer disclosure while environmental disclosure was still weak.
2.1. Stakeholder theory
Stakeholder theory which was popularized in 1980 (see Freeman 1984) asserts that firms must adjust their
strategies to fulfill the demand from various stakeholders to ensure firms’ existence by acquiring the support of their
stakeholders (Liu and Anbumozhi, 2009). This is especially so for primary stakeholders. Clarkson (1995) classify
primary stakeholders as any group or party that a company relied upon to continuously operate, for example
shareholders, employees, customers, supplier and government. Fontaine, Haarman and Schmid, (2006) argued that
the disclosure of CSR information by financial institutions is mainly directed towards answering the consequences of
their decisions to their stakeholders. In this study, the primary stakeholders namely shareholders, customer and
government shareholding will become the focal factor under the stakeholder theory used to underpin CSR
disclosure. For shareholders, in a concentrated shareholdings structure, it is expected that management will disclose
less CSR activities due to the lesser number of shareholders exerting pressure for the financial institutions to disclose
their CSR practices. Research conducted by Ullman (1985); Roberts (1992); Cullen and Christopher, (2002),
discovered that there is a positive relationship between disperse ownership with CSR disclosure. This generates the
first hypothesis for this study as:
H1: The shareholding concentration is negatively associated with CSR disclosure.
The influence of customers in this study will be examined from the perspective of depositors who provide funds
to the financial institutions. This is because customers for financial institutions are depositors who provide financing
to these organisations. Customers have choices in terms of where to deposit their money, thus it is important for
financial institutions to attract and retain their customers. Roberts (1992) provides empirical results that provider of
funds such as creditors have a significant positive relationship with CSR disclosure. Based on this argument, the
following hypothesis is presented:
H2: The customer influence is positively associated with CSR disclosure.
The amount of shares owned by government bodies in firms will give them the power to intervene and generate
pressure for such firms to disclose additional information in order to satisfy public expectation (Amran and Devi,
2008). Eng and Mak (2003) in their study discovered that government shareholdings have a positive relationship
with voluntary disclosure. Mohd Nasir and Abdullah (2004) also found that the amount of voluntary disclosure is

Faizah Darus et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 145 (2014) 173 – 180

influenced by the extent of government ownership. Thus, it is predicted that government shareholdings will increase
the extent of CSR disclosure.
H3: The government shareholding is positively associated with CSR disclosure.
2.2. Resource-based theory
Meanwhile from resource-based perspective, it is argued that the extra resources that a firm has allows the firm to
be involved in more innovative projects to facilitate competitive advantages (Branco and Rodrigues 2006). However,
for firm with fewer resources, they will prioritize their activities and will allocate their resources towards profitable
activities rather be involved in CSR activities (Roberts, 1992; Ullmann, 1985). Therefore, resource-based theory
argues that firms will allocate their resources to carry out CSR activities as part of their investments to create more
resources (intangible assets) and to develop competitive advantage (Branco and Rodrigues 2006).
For financial institutions, it is argued that the extra resources in the form of oganisational slack will encourage
them to undertake CSR activities. Organisational slack is defined as the availability of extra financial reserve that
enables an organisation to adapt to internal and external pressures, as well as to initiate any strategic changes
required (Bourgeois, 1981). The extra resources will enable companies to be committed with their socially
responsible activities to improve their corporate social performance (Waddockand Graves, 1997). Arora and
Dharwadkar (2011) found that high organizational slack and positive attainment discrepancy resulted in higher CSR.
This lead to the following hypothesis:
H4: The organizational slack is positively associated with CSR disclosure.
Exposure of top management such as the CEO or the Managing Director to CSR through international assignment
will influence their awareness and perception about CSR disclosure and its benefit. Therefore, it is expected that top
management with foreign exposure are more likely to recognize the importance of CSR reporting especially in
developing competitive advantage. This is consistent with the argument by Arshad, Omar and Othman, (2012) who
discovered that CEO/MD with international experience has a positive and significant relationship with CSR
reporting. Therefore, in this study it can be argued that foreign exposure by CEO/MD will influence the CSR
Disclosure of the financial institution. This lead to the following hypothesis:
H5: The foreign exposure of top management is positively associated with CSR disclosure.
3. The Methodology and Model
In this study the CSR disclosure was measured via a content analysis of the companies’ annual and sustainability
reports. Annual reports are a common medium of communication for companies to disclose relevant information to
the shareholders (Desender, 2009, Guthrie and Parker, 1990; Gray, Kouhy and Lavers, 1995). The CSR disclosure
was measured based on the number of words disclosed (Deegan and Rankin, 1996; Douglas, et al., 2004; Wilmhurst
and Frost, 2000; Zeghal and Ahmed, 1990). The information was extracted from relevant sections of the annual and
sustainability reports of financial institutions in Malaysia over a four-year period from 2008 - 2011. This resulted in
a total firm year observation of 76 (after excluding institutions that did not produce annual reports for the stated
year). The financial institutions were categorised into banks, development financial institutions (DFIs) and
investment institutions. Table 1 presents the final sample for the study while Table 2 presents the variables and their
measurement.

175

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Faizah Darus et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 145 (2014) 173 – 180

Table 1. Number of financial institutions included in the Sample for the year 2008 – 2011
Year

Group
2011

2010

2009

2008

Banks

11

10

9

10

Development Financial Institution (DFIs)

6

6

6

6

Investment Institution

3

3

3

3

Total

20

19

18

19

Table 2: The Variables and their Measurements
Variable

Variables

Details

Acronym

Measurement

Dependent Variable
CSR Disclosure

CSRD

Extent of CSR
Disclosure

Number of word count (Darus, Arshad
Othman and Jusoff, 2009, Gamerschlag, Mo¨ller and
Verbeeten, 2010)

Independent Variables
Stakeholder Theory
Concentrated shareholders

Concentration of shares
CSH

Percentage of shares owned by the ten
largest shareholders in the top 30
shareholdings to total number of share
issued (Said, Zainuddin and Haron, 2009;
Liu and Anbumozhi, 2009)

Customer Influence

CUST

Deposit from customer

Percentage of deposits from customer to
total equity (Roberts, 1992)

Government shareholdings

GSH

Shares owned by

Percentage of shares owned by government

government/

institutions listed in the top 30

government linked

shareholdings to total number of shares

companies (GLCs)

issued (Amran and Devi, 2008, Said,
Zainuddin and Haron, 2009, Othman,Darus
and Arshad, 2011)

Resource-based Theory

Availability of extra

Ratio of asset to liabilities (Arshad, Omar

Organisational slack

SLACK

resources

and Othman, 2012)

Exposure

EXPOSURE

CEO/MD with

Foreign exposure of MD/CEO 1=Yes 0=No

internationa

(Arshad, Omar and Othman, 2012)

experience
Control Variable
Size

TA

Company siz

Total assets (Branco and Rodrigues, 2008;
Hackston and Milne, 1996)

177

Faizah Darus et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 145 (2014) 173 – 180

The statistical analysis conducted in this study includes the use of multiple linear regression models in order to
analyze the relationship between the CSR disclosure and the independent variables. The following regression model
was developed to test H1, H2, H3, H4 and H5.
CSRD = β0 + β1 CSH + β2 CUST + β3 GSH + β4 SLACK + β5 EXPOSURE + β6 TA + εt

(1)

Where CSRD is the quantity of CSR disclosure, CSH is concentrated shareholders, CUST is customers, GSH is
government shareholdings, SLACK is organisational slack, EXPOSURE is foreign exposure of top management, TA
is size of company and εt is an error term
4. The Findings
4.1. Descriptive statistics
Table 3 presents the CSR disclosure for the four years. The results from Table 3 revealed that the mean CSR
disclosure showed a progressive increase over the four years. This improvement infers that the financial institutions
are placing more importance on their CSR activities and are willing to spend more time and cost to prepare their
CSR reports. However, the high standard deviation indicates the large variability of words disclosed among the
financial institutions.
Table 3: CSR disclosure by year
Year
2008

Minimum
CSR

Maximum

Mean

19

30

11096

2270.79

2835.28

Std. Deviation

18

72

11209

3104.06

3597.65

19

66

24432

4092.68

5892.14

20

33

24252

4124.50

6024.55

Disclosure
2009

CSR
Disclosure

2010

CSR
Disclosure

2011

CSR
Disclosure

Table 4 presents the descriptive statistics for the independent and control variables for the study. The percentage
of shares owned by the top ten shareholders ranges from 2% to 100% with a mean of 74.60% suggesting a
concentrated share ownership. The findings indicate a relatively higher concentration of ownership for financial
institutions than that of other companies where Abdul Samad (2002) and Haniffa and Hudaib (2006) discovered that
the concentrated ownership for companies in Malaysia was 58.8% and 61% respectively. A mean score of 70.05%
for customers indicates that customers provided about 70% of the financial resources to financial institutions. This
reveals that financial institutions rely heavily on resources provided by customers. The mean score for government
shareholdings of 40.79% indicates a significant presence of this form of owners among the financial institutions.
Meanwhile for organizational slack, the financial institutions on average have 1.28 times available resources as
compared to their obligations. For foreign exposure of top management, the results revealed that only 37% of the
CEO or managing directors of the financial institutions have some forms of foreign work experience. For the control
variable, the size of the financial institutions total assets ranged from RM274,369 to RM12,058,952,333. The high
value in the standard variation indicates the wide variation in the size of the financial institutions.

178

Faizah Darus et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 145 (2014) 173 – 180

Table 4: Descriptive analysis of independent and control variables
Variable
Shareholders (%)
Customers (%)
Government
Shareholding (%)
Organizational Slack
Exposure
Size

Minimum
2
0
0

Maximum
100
19
100

Mean
74.60
70.05
40.79

Std. Deviation
26.32
4.68
40.36

1
0
274,369

4
1
12,058,952,333

1.28
0.37
597,000,000

0.44
0.40
2,248,000,000

Table 5 presents the results of the multiple regression analysis between the independent variables and CSR
disclosure. The result revealed that the adjusted R2 is 0.205 and F-statistic for the model is 4.226 with significant
value p=0.001. The tolerance coefficient for all the variables is more than 0.10 while the VIF for all the variables is
less than 10 suggesting that there is no intolerable multicollinerity occurring among the variables (Gujarati, 2003).
The results provide evidence that concentrated shareholdings (CSH) is negatively significant at 10% significant
level (p value=0.068) while customer (CUST) is positively significant at 5% significant level (p=0.043). The results
indicate that with a concentrated ownership structure management will disclose less CSR information due to the
lesser number of shareholders exerting pressure on the financial institutions to disclose their CSR practices. This
findings is consistent with the findings by Ullman (1985); Roberts (1992); Cullen and Christopher, (2002) who
argued that a disperse ownership structure will result in an increased in CSR disclosure. Thus H1 is accepted. The
positive significant relationship between customer (CUST) suggests that financial institutions rely heavily on the
resources provided by customers and that customers are powerful stakeholders that can influence financial
institutions to be involved in and to disclose more information regarding their CSR activities. The findings are
consistent with prior studies which found that providers of funds such as creditors can influence a company’s CSR
disclosure (see for example Clarkson, Li, Richardson and Vasvari 2008; Naser, Al- Hussaini, Al-Kwari and
Nuseibeh 2006). H2 is therefore accepted.
Table 5: Multiple regression results for factors affecting CSR disclosure
Dependent Variable: CSRD (Quantitative CSR Disclosure)
R Square = . 269, Adjusted R2 = .205, F = 4.226, Sig. = .001
Variables
(Constant)

Beta
8058.379

T
2.839

Sig.
.006

Tolerance

VIF

CSH

-50.092

-1.852

.068*

.481

2.080

CUST

268.935

2.064

.043**

.655

1.526

GSH

-5.491

-.315

.754

.491

2.037

SLACK

-1604.689

-1.137

.260

.632

1.581

EXPOSURE

-1554.764

-1.316

.192

.741

1.350

TA

6.745E-8

.275

.784

.802

1.247

** Significant at 5% level (1-tailed test); * Significant at 10% level (1-tailed test);

The findings from the multiple regression analysis also suggest that the government is not a powerful influence of
CSR disclosure. The insignificant results for the organizational slack (SLACK) and top management foreign
exposure (EXPOSURE) suggest that the additional resources of the financial institutions and the foreign exposure of
top management towards CSR are not influencing them to disclose CSR information. Therefore, H3, H4 and H5 are
rejected. The control variable size is also not significant suggesting that size of the financial institutions is not a
determining factor for financial institutions to report their CSR activities.

Faizah Darus et al. / Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 145 (2014) 173 – 180

5. Summary and Conclusions
Financial institutions are expected to play a more critical role in fulfilling their moral and ethical objectives by
undertaking more CSR initiatives. In addition to providing services as financial intermediaries of financial markets,
financial institutions are also expected to fulfill their social objectives. Therefore, this study examined the factors
that influenced CSR reporting among financial institutions in the context of stakeholder and resource-based theories.
It is expected that primary stakeholders such as shareholders, customers and the government will be able to exert
influence on financial institutions to engage in CSR activities and to ultimately report such activities in their annual
and sustainability reports. In addition, the availability of extra resources in the form of organisational slack and the
foreign exposure of top management will facilitate CSR reporting.
The results of the study revealed that customers are powerful stakeholders in financial institutions and they can
influence financial institutions to be involved in CSR activities. However, the concentrated ownership structure of
financial institutions hinders CSR reporting as management will disclose less CSR information due to the lesser
number of shareholders exerting pressure on the financial institutions to disclose their CSR activities. The
government shareholdings, the availability of organisational slack and the foreign exposure of top management
however, did not influence CSR reporting among financial institutions. This could be because financial institutions
are highly regulated hence government shareholdings is unable to influence CSR reporting. In addition, financial
institutions are required to maintain a high liquidity level, thus the extra resources in the form of organisational slack
were not used to embark on CSR activities. Thus, financial institutions are not utilizing their organisational slack on
CSR activities but are focusing on maintaining their liquidity as required by the industry. The results also portray
that foreign exposure of top management is not necessarily a requirement to encourage CSR disclosure among the
financial institutions.
Acknowledgements
The authors would like to express their gratitude to the Accounting Research Institute, Ministry of Education,
Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi MARA for funding and facilitating this research project.
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