Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

EIJS Working Paper Series,
Stockholm School of Economics, The European Institute of Japanese Studies

No 208: CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY IN JAPAN: ANALYZING THE PARTICIPATING COMPANIES IN GLOBAL REPORTING INITIATIVE

Kenji Suzuki () and Kanji Tanimoto ()
Additional contact information
Kenji Suzuki: European Institute of Japanese Studies, Postal: Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, S-113 83 Stockholm, Sweden
Kanji Tanimoto: Hitotsubashi University, Postal: Hitotsubashi University, Tokyo, Japan

Abstract: Following the US and Europe, Japan is now becoming aware of the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). In fact, Japan has become the country with the largest number of participants in Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), which is currently the most acknowledged reporting system of CSR in the world. However, the mere number of the participants does not tell much. The Japanese approach to CSR may well differ from the Western approach, given various differences in their socio-economic characteristics. Against this background, two empirical tests are conducted. The identification of the characteristics of the Japanese adopters of GRI Guidelines implies the erosion of the traditional corporate-centered system of that country both from outside and from inside. On the other hand, the manner of adoption is found to be quite different between Japan and the West, which may be a sign of cultural or systematic resistance to total convergence.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility (CSR); global reporting initiative (GRI); international comparison; Japan; system perspective

JEL-codes: F30; G30

20 pages, March 1, 2005

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