Investigating the Relationship between Social Responsibility Index and Financial Statement Comparability in the Company Life Cycle Stages

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistance Prof., Department of Accounting, Hashtrood Branch, Islamic Azad University, Hashtrood, Iran.

2 Associate Prof., Department of Accounting, Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences, Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz, Ahvaz, Iran.


Objective: Existence of high quality and comparable information is an effective factor in increasing investors' confidence in the optimal allocation of resources in the form of investment decisions and financing. In this regard, one of the external factors affecting the quality of financial reporting is the social attitude of companies to ensure the interests of all stakeholders as social legitimacy. However, companies' commitment to this can also be different due to the need to implement different business procedures at different stages of a company's life cycle. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between social responsibility and financial statement comparability in the life cycle of a company.
Methods: This research is an applied one in terms of purpose, and is correlation and post-event in terms of method. In order to test the research hypotheses, 123 companies in the period 2012-2019 were selected and analyzed using multiple regression models. To measure the social responsibility index, three economic, legal and moral dimensions of social responsibility were used by using the combined index of the mentioned variables and by decimating the relevant indicators, similar to the method of Gaio and Raposo (2010). To measure the financial statement comparability, De Franco et al. (2011) model was used and for the life cycle of the company, Dickinson (2011) method was used in accordance with the cash flow pattern (operating activities, investment and financing).
Results: The results of hypothesis testing show that the total index of social responsibility has a positive effect on the financial statements` comparability and causes it to increase. And the index of social responsibility in the growth stage has the most and in the maturity stage has the least impact and in the decline stage has no effect on the financial statement s` comparability. Thus in the stages of growth and maturity it has a positive effect and in the decline phase has no significant effect on the financial statement comparability.
Conclusion: The increase in the company's social responsibility for transparent accountability for its annual performance to various stakeholders and as a result more monitoring of the company's performance reduce information asymmetry and therefore increase the quality and financial statement comparability. And companies in the stages of business growth and maturity, unlike the stage of decline, due to more access to financial resources and focus on differentiation strategy, use social responsibility to increase the quality of reporting and gain and strengthen their competitive position. Thus, companies in the stages of growth and maturity, use social responsibility to increase the reporting quality and acquisition and strengthening of competitive position. Because in terms of signaling theory, companies in the growth phase of their life cycle due to long-term time horizons in achieving goals, need to be seen, need to visualize their future performance and growth opportunities and more involvement of stakeholders. However, in the final stages of the life cycle, due to limited financial resources, declining profitability and changing companies' approach to survival strategy, they have limited resources to invest in social responsibility.


Main Subjects

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