Standalone CSR reporting by U.S. retail companies

Dennis Patten, Nana Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigate first-time use of standalone CSR reporting in the U.S. retail industry. We find it is limited to publicly traded companies and that environmental rather than other social disclosures are most prominent. We document that firms focus on discussing CSR initiatives and programs as opposed to providing performance data, suggesting the reports are more about image enhancement than transparent accountability. We explore impacts of the choice to disclose, and our findings suggest that standalone CSR reporting by the retail companies appears to positively influence perceptions of company reputation, and may be leading to increased appeal to socially responsible investors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)132-144
Number of pages13
JournalAccounting Forum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2014


  • Social and environmental accounting
  • Standalone CSR reporting
  • U.S. retail industry
  • Content analysis

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