Corporate social responsibility reporting of international oil companies in Nigeria: an historical materialism analysis

Odhiambo Odera, Kieran James, Albert Scott, Jeff Gow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
215 Downloads (Pure)


This study aims to identify factors influencing corporate social responsibility reporting (CSRR) practices of international oil companies (IOCs) in Nigeria. It aims at distinguishing CSRR levels by examining both the quantity and quality of reporting.

The paper analyses annual reports through content analysis. CSRR extent and type are measured by the number of sentences. CSRR are further classified into three subcategories according to whether they are negative, neutral or positive reports and then their proportions compared through descriptive analysis.

For the extent and quality of CSRR, community was the most reported category. The majority of the total CSRR in the IOCs is positive with little evidence of negative news. None of the IOCs in the sample reported on the environment in their annual reports.

Research limitations/implications
The measurement of CSRR focuses only on annual reports, without consideration of other reporting media such as standalone reports and corporate websites. CSRR are assumed to be voluntary for the companies and they may choose not to report any information in annual reports, as there are no regulations or reporting guidelines in Nigeria to be followed.

Practical implications
The results reveal the absence of environmental reporting in the CSRR of IOCs in Nigeria suggests that they are less concerned with meeting local demands for accountability. The study recommends the need for regulatory intervention on the part of the Nigerian Government.
Social implications
The findings of study indicate that predominant existence of positive CSRR news among all the IOCs suggests there’s an attempt to encourage stakeholders and the public to believe that they are conscious of society and the environment.

The main contribution of this study lies in identifying the factors that have led to diversity and uniqueness in CSRR in IOCs. As such, this study seeks to contribute to the development of understanding multiple factors that could give rise to changing patterns of CSRR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)131-146
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Ethics and Systems
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020


  • Nigeria
  • International oil companies
  • Corporate social responsibility reporting
  • Business ethics
  • Sustainability
  • Historic materialism theory


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