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Title: An investigation of social and environmental reporting practices, in a Chinese context
Author: Zhao, Na
ISNI:       0000 0004 2717 887X
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2012
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This PhD research study sets its scene based on the emerging practice of Social and Environmental Reporting (SER) in the Chinese context. It investigates the extent of and motivational factors behind SER practice by Chinese national organisations in particular. The investigation includes an explicit explanation and interpretation of this SER practice. Social and Environmental Reports (SERs) are often perceived as a type of communication tool for social and environmental effects of an organisation‘s actions to its relevant interest groups and to society at large. Adopting the lens of neo-institutional theory this PhD research study focuses on the understanding and analysis of the reasons why Chinese companies initiate SER. A qualitative research approach was employed to investigate this particular question in this PhD research study. The main empirical data was collected by face-to-face in-depth interviews conducted in a semi-structured fashion. The data was then analysed using institutional theory to explore how different institutional factors, such as normative, coercive and mimetic isomorphism, have influenced SER practices. The result of this study shows a subtle mixture of mimetic and normative pressures working its way through the initiation of SER in China. While the existence of regulatory institutions was recognised, the coercive pressure was decreasing under several circumstances. There is also evidence of increasing trends in the SER practice in China. In essence, the results suggest that there could be a number of different motivations simultaneously driving companies to produce SERs, and assuming that one particular motivation might dominate all others would be unrealistic. By adopting interview methods to collect rich empirical data and utilising institutional theory as a theoretical concept, this study has delivered both a theoretical offering and a rigorous empirical contribution to the existing literature. The results do reveal the potential growth of SER practice in China. Based on this evidence, the study concludes by proposing a number of potential avenues for further research.
Supervisor: Unerman, Jeffrey Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available