Give or take on the internet: An examinationof the disclosure practices of insurance firm web innovators [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 36 (3):247 - 259 (2002)
Theories of corporate social responsibility suggest that there ought to be a balance between what business takes from society and what it gives back in return. Recently, the practice literature within the insurance industry has been heavily pushing for the development of the Internet as a tool for commerce while virtually ignoring the role it could play in terms of information disclosure to stakeholders. This study examines whether insurance firms themselves reflect this emphasis, or whether companies that are industry leaders with respect to web innovation for product marketing are also leaders in using the web for information disclosure. A study of the web pages for 40 property and casualty firms drawn from Franzis (2000), shows that financial disclosure for the overall sample is at best moderate. The disclosure of social responsibility information on these web pages is quite low, on average. Further, and importantly from a social balance perspective, the web innovators in terms of product marketing are not industry leaders in terms of information disclosure.
Keywords corporate social responsibility  corporate web pages  insurance firms  internet information disclosure
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