Corporate social reporting in the european context and human resource disclosures: An analysis of finnish companies [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 69 (4):331 - 354 (2006)
This paper explores by means of content analysis the extent to which the Finnish biggest companies have adapted socially responsible reporting practices. The research focuses on Human Resource (HR) reporting and covers corporate annual reports. The criteria has been set on the basis of the analysis of the documents published at the European level in the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR), paying special attention to the European Council appeal on CSR in March 2000. As CSR is a relatively new concept in Finland, the paper also contributes to the discussion on interface between HR reporting (especially as based on measurements such as Human Resource Accounting and Intellectual Capital schools) and corporate social reporting practices. The results of the content analysis indicate that social reporting practices are still at an early stage of development in Finland. The most reported theme was ‘training and staff development’. A positive sign was that the majority also disclosed themes ‘participation and staff involvement’ and ‘employee health and well-being’. Furthermore, nearly one-third made references to their work atmosphere or job satisfaction survey. However, disclosures lacked overall consistency and comparability with each other and especially quantitative indicators were disclosed by few. Further concern was lack of information related to the theme equal opportunities and going beyond a sheer disclosure of age or gender structure. The other issues rarely disclosed were those related to employee work–life balance and integration of disadvantaged groups in the labour markets.
Keywords European Union  Finland  HR reporting  human resource management  social reporting
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