Hellenic Open University Conferences, International Conference on Business & Economics of the Hellenic Open University 2015

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Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting and Organizational Stigma: The Case of “Sin” Industries
Vassiliki Grougiou, Emmanouil Dimitirios Dedoulis, Stergios Leventis

Building: Titania
Room: Platon
Date: 2015-02-07 11:00 AM – 01:00 PM
Last modified: 2015-01-27


In this paper we examine corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting strategies by focusing on stigmatized firms. We bring to the fore companies belonging to the alcohol, tobacco, gambling, nuclear energy and firearms sectors which are often described as “sins” due to their perceived deviation from broadly-endorsed social and environmental standards. We employ a sample of 109 U.S. listed “sin” firms, for a seven-year period (2003-2009) and control with another set of 109 similar-sized, non-“sin” firms for the same period. We find that “sin” firms are more prone to issuing standalone CSR reports. We interpret our results by drawing upon literature on organizational stigma and we argue that stigmatized firms resort to CSR disclosures to mask or distract attention from their controversial core activities and to lessen the negative consequences of stigmatization.


Ethics, corporate social responsibility, organizational stigma, controversial industries, sin firms, voluntary disclosure.