This study aims to explore and identify empirically the current corporate social disclosure (CSD) practices of Saudi listed companies, and to determine the perspectives of a range of stakeholder groups towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) and CSD issues in Saudi Arabia. The study examines the CSD practices through determining the volume and the nature of the information provided by companies, and identifying any noticeable differences in such information across companies and amongst different sectors. The study also examines stakeholders’ perspectives towards current CSD practices in Saudi Arabia including views on the motivations behind disclosing such information by companies and the factors that might deter or discourage companies from reporting such information. The results of the study are interpreted using a stakeholder perspective. The study uses content analysis to analyse companies’ annual reports and standalone reports, and a questionnaire survey to ascertain the perceptions of stakeholders. The findings reveal that all companies in the sample provided at least some CSD in their annual reports with wide variation across companies and industries. The most widely disclosed information was related to the employees and society disclosure categories, respectively, followed by environmental disclosures while disclosures relating to customers and products were almost nil. The results also demonstrate that the majority of the questionnaire respondents believe in the right of all stakeholder groups to have access to CSD, but they think the most important reason behind providing CSD by organisations is to communicate with those parties and groups with financial interests due to the importance of such information for decision-making. Also, respondents highlighted ‘the emphasis by companies on their economic rather than social performance’, followed by ‘society’s lack of awareness regarding CSR information’ and ‘an absence of legal or similar regulatory requirements’ as the most important reasons that might deter companies from providing CSD information. In addition, respondents generally support mandatory mechanisms being put in place for Saudi companies to establish CSD.
|Date of Award||2016|
|Sponsors||King Abdulaziz University|
|Supervisor||Theresa Dunne (Supervisor) & David Collison (Supervisor)|