Earnings Management and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Case of UK

Almahrog, Yousf Ebrahem (2014) Earnings Management and Corporate Social Responsibility: The Case of UK. Doctoral thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The primary focus of this study is to investigate the relation between Earnings Management (EM) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the UK. While there are few studies in the existing literature that examined the relationship between EM and CSR, there is a lack of studies examining this relation in the UK. Furthermore, the existing academic literature appears to provide inconsistent results.
These considerations motivate this study to bridge this gap in the literature by providing evidence of whether or not EM and CSR are related in the UK. The present study carried out through three empirical stages based on the data obtained from the FTSE 350 Index between 2008 and 2010.
The first stage examined the EM practice using three EM models to estimate discretionary accruals as proxy for EM. The models were the Jones (1991), modified Jones (Dechow et al. 1995) and performance - matched (Kothari et al. 2005) models.
Firstly, these models were tested using multivariate analysis; the findings revealed that the performance - marched model has been identified as the model that could most accurately measure the presence of EM. Secondly, by applying univariate analysis, the study has found insignificant differences between the high and low EM practices in UK firms and that the highest and the lowest levels of EM were in 2008. Similar results were discovered when comparing the differences between income - increasing and income - decreasing EM.
The second stage tested CSR by applying both content analysis and disclosure index approaches to identify the level of Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure (CSD) as proxy of CSR. The findings from the content analysis revealed that the employees (EMP) theme had the highest level of CSR information, followed by community (COM), environment (ENV), others (OTH), products and services (PRO), and customers (CUS). Similar results were obtained when the disclosure index approach was employed.
The relationship between EM and CSR was tested in the final stage by using univariate and multivariate analyses. The findings revealed that firms with more CSR information reported lower EM. Further tests were performed to investigate the link between EM and CSR themes and the findings revealed that firms with more information of EMP, COM, EVE and PRO reported lower EM. However, no evidence suggested that CUS and OTH information affect EM. Overall, the findings suggest that the level of CSR improve financial reports’ quality. This study aspires to contribute to our understanding and knowledge on the issue related to the role of CSR regarding the quality of reported earnings.

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