Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

Fall 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Dr. Victoria Crittenden

Second Advisor

Dr. Bodo Schlegelmilch

Third Advisor

Dr. Brian Rutherford


With the evolution of CSR reporting practices and the introduction and widespread adoption of the GRI Guidelines, this research sought to understand the factors that determine a company’s CSR disclosure strategy. It examined the relationship between a four-dimensional model of reporting determinants and a firm’s CSR disclosure strategy. The proposed model drew from legitimacy, institutional and stakeholder theories and included the following constructs: non-financial corporate characteristics, the firm’s financial performance, the involvement of the firm’s stakeholders and environmental turbulence. The firm’s CSR disclosure strategy was represented by the GRI application level chosen by the firm and the presence or absence of third party assurance. The study found environmental turbulence to be the only strongly predictive construct. However, this construct and other predictive variables that were shown to be related help strengthen understanding of disclosure strategy. Given these findings, four key concepts emerge that firms must consider in developing their CSR disclosure strategy. These include stakeholder salience, environmental turbulence, mimetic behavior, and institutional norms.

Included in

Marketing Commons