Doctor of Philosophy
School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Jitaree, Wisuttorn, Corporate social responsibility disclosure and financial performance: evidence from Thailand, Doctor of Philosophy thesis, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance, University of Wollongong, 2015. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/4413
p>Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a strategic agenda for businesses in many countries. The (CSR) disclosure practices have been developed over the last three decades in the area of financial reporting. Many (CSR) practices in emerging markets emerged from practices and frameworks of developed countries. The number of CSR frameworks and principles has considerably increased both in academic and business environments. In Thailand, most of the CSR concepts and principles are also developed based on the framework of developed countries but they still remain a voluntary mechanism. However, there are momentous differences between Thai and other developed countries’ context in implementing CSR practices. These differences include many factors: culture, natural business systems, and geographical aspects. The application of CSR disclosures in Thailand still remains in embryonic form. Thus, this study’s main purpose is to investigate the extent of CSR disclosures by Thai public listed companies, in particular, identifying the current practices of CSR disclosures, and the relationship between the level of CSR disclosures and firm financial performance from 2009 to 2011. To investigate such a relationship, a CSR checklist is developed to identify CSR practices in Thai companies. In developing a CSR checklist, the published annual reports are analysed for the frequency of CSR practices. A dichotomous process was utilised to develop an index based on five CSR dimensions including: environment, energy, employee, community and product dimensions. This CSR checklist covered 45 CSR activities of Thai companies. CSR disclosures are then analysed and examined using content analysis.
The second objective of this study is to examine the relationship between the extent of CSR disclosure and financial performance (FP) of Thai listed firms. The sample data used in this study comprises 323 companies listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). The period of the study is selected for three years from 2009 to 2011. This particular period was chosen because my PhD started in 2011 and Thai studies on CSR disclosure and financial performance using post global financial crisis after 2008 are fairly limited. CSR practices, financial performance and firms’ specific characteristics are obtained from companies’ annual reports and SETSMART database. The considered variables are CSR index, financial performance measures. The financial performance measures include: ROA, NPM, EPS and TBQ. The considered control variables are firm size, firm leverage, company age and the percentage of independent directors on companies’ boards. Three groups of data are examined separately by four regression models including cross-sectional model, the pooled ordinary least squares model, the random effects model and the fixed effects model. This study has tested the results for their robustness using two stages least square (2SLS).
The findings from the CSR disclosure analysis show that Thai companies are more likely to disclose CSR information regarding community and employee information. These two categories are the most disclosed CSR themes in the Thai context. However, energy disclosure is the least disclosed theme by Thai companies. Furthermore, by comparing each industry, the results indicate that all industries tend to disclose CSR activities under community information rather than other aspects. The results from the empirical analysis provide some evidences of positive relationships between financial performance and CSR disclosure for each group of data. Firstly, the results from all company groups show that there are strong positive relationships between CSR disclosure and ROA, NPM, and Tobin’s Q. Secondly, the results from the manufacturing group reveal a positive and significant relationship between CSR disclosure and ROA, NPM, while for non-manufacturing industry, CSR disclosure also has a positive relationship with TBQ. Lastly, for the financial group, the findings are similar with all companies group and the non-manufacturing group. As well, CSR disclosure is not related to earnings per share (EPS) in all models. This study adds further evidence to the literature on the relationship between CSR disclosure and financial performance in an emerging country. In particular, it is found that there is a strong positive relationship between CSR disclosure and financial performance measures in terms of ROA, NPM and TBQ for the three sample groups. In addition, this study provides an empirical examination of CSR disclosure by using a constructed CSR index based on CSR disclosures by listed Thai companies.
This study concluded that on the basis of stakeholder and legitimacy theory, the extent of corporate social responsibility information disclosed in Thai companies’ annual reports are similar, and firm specific characteristics have an impact on CSR disclosure. These two theories can help to explain the significance of CSR disclosure on improving financial performance in Thailand.