Ntim, Collins G. and Soobaroyen, Teerooven
Black economic empowerment disclosures by South African listed corporations: The influence of ownership and board characteristics
Journal of Business Ethics, 116, (1), . (doi:10.1007/s10551-012-1446-8).
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This study investigates the extent to which South African listed corporations voluntarily disclose information on black economic empowerment (BEE) in their annual and sustainability reports using a sample of 75 listed corporations from 2003 to 2009. BEE is a form of socio-economic affirmative action championed by the African National Congress (ANC)-led government to address historical imbalances in business participation and ownership in South Africa. We find that block ownership and institutional ownership are negatively associated with the extent of BEE disclosures, whereas government ownership, board diversity (age, education, ethnicity, nationality and occupation), board size and non-executive directors are positively related to the extent of BEE disclosures. By contrast, dual board leadership structure and gender diversity are not significantly associated with BEE disclosures. Our results are robust when controlling for firm-level characteristics, fixed-effects and alternative disclosure proxies. Our results are largely consistent with the predictions of agency, legitimacy, resource dependence and stakeholder theories.
KEY WORDS: annual and sustainability reports; black economic empowerment; corporate social responsibility disclosures; ownership and board characteristics; South Africa.
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