ABSTRACT

This study explores the regulatory setting in Taiwan and examines the association between academic directors and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. We find that firms with academic directors on their boards are more likely to issue standalone CSR reports and to obtain third-party assurance on such reports. We also demonstrate that an academic director's university prestige as well as industry expertise both have incremental positive effects on CSR reporting. Additional analysis further suggests that a firm's CSR reporting is better valued by the capital market when the firm has academic directors, consistent with academic directors strengthening investors' perceptions regarding the credibility of voluntarily disclosed CSR information. Our finding that the presence of academic directors can promote better CSR reporting indicates that academic directors contribute not only to shareholder value, but also to wider stakeholder interests.

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