Presentation on theme: "Den Patten. 1) I don’t speak Portuguese. 2) Sorry Renata, but I don’t really like Port wine. 3) My knowledge of Portuguese history is, well, limited."— Presentation transcript:
1) I don’t speak Portuguese. 2) Sorry Renata, but I don’t really like Port wine. 3) My knowledge of Portuguese history is, well, limited.
They all came to look for America
It was probably almost entirely about fame and fortune. But I’d like to believe – it was, after all, the “Age of Discovery” – in some small (misguided?) way, they were trying to make the world a little bit better.
Brown and Dillard (CPA 2012) Correa and Laine (SEAJ 2013) Dillard and Brown (SEAJ 2012) Gray and Laughlin (AAAJ 2012)
Correa and Laine (2013, p. 134) rail against “like-minded conformity” and worry that enhanced homogeneity may be leading “to an incremental research culture that focuses on mimicry and nitty-gritty details” (p. 138).
Gray and Laughlin (2012, p. 243) implore the SEA community not “to settle quietly and comfortably into undertaking ever finer and more detailed descriptions of practice.”
Spence et al. (2010, p. 85) argue “empirical (and largely quantitative) analyses of corporate reports has (sic)demonstrably permitted the rapid production of research, but a focus on reporting alone effectively precludes SER as anything other than ideological production.” They argue SEA research in the legitimacy, stakeholder, and political economy domain is nothing but “cargo cult science.”
Spence et al. (2010) refer to legitimacy theory-based SEA research as a ‘coconut radio’ And I agree (sort of)!!
Why I engage in quantitative SEA research
My Agenda (see Patten, SEAJ 2002) Make a solid case that social and environmental disclosure varies because many firms appear to use it as a manipulative device to reduce exposures.
My Agenda (see Patten, SEAJ 2002) Make a solid case that social and environmental disclosure varies because many firms appear to use it as a manipulative device to reduce exposures. Provide evidence that existing disclosure practices induce effects that are bad for the environment.
Making a solid case that social and environmental disclosure varies because many firms appear to use it as a manipulative device to reduce exposures. Patten (JAPP 1991) – size and industry Patten (AOS 1992) – changes in exposure Patten (AOS 2002) Cho and Patten (AOS 2007) performance and disclosure
Providing evidence that existing disclosure practices induce effects that are bad for the environment. Freedman and Patten (AF 2004) Cho, Guidry, Hageman, and Patten (AOS 2012) (This is an area needing much more work.)
In each of these analyses, I am (we are) trying to make the case that the expected relations held across a broad sample of firms.
SER motivations appear “to be complex and multifarious,” and further, “firms appear to be reporting on socio-environmental issues for a variety of reasons and in ways that are not consistent across firms.” I agree (with the observation)!
Connecting with (trying to educate?) the more mainstream North American literature
Blacconiere and Patten (JAE 1994) Patten and Trompeter (JAPP 2003)
The ‘thrill of the hunt’
What I see as potential concerns within quantitative SEA research
Reliance on Proxies (1) The use of variables that don’t really capture the underlying construct Example: Dhaliwal et al. (2011)
Reliance on Proxies (2) Failure to really assess the disclosure taking place.
Reliance on Proxies (2) Given the substantial variation in the information being provided in reports, binary variables (report or not, GRI or not) don’t yield very rich analyses.
Inclusion of unjustified (almost always financial) control variables. Built on arguments from Verrecchia (1983), Dye (1985), and Lang and Lundholm (1993)
Inclusion of unjustified (almost always financial) control variables. None of those studies so much as mentions social or environmental information.
Inclusion of unjustified (almost always financial) control variables. Empirical evidence (Guidry and Patten, 2010) documents no consistent relation for the financial variables used.
Failure to move beyond prior (often basic) research. “CSR Disclosure in Bolivia: A Test of Legitimacy Theory”
The need to transcend boundaries
I’ve dabbled with alternative methods. Milne and Patten (AAAJ 2002) Cho et al. (AAAJ 2009)
I’ve dabbled with alternative methods. More recently, I had the opportunity to work with Nana Zhao using interview data from Chinese Managers.
Chinese managers reported they saw the primary purpose for CSR reporting as highlighting the positive social and environmental contributions of their firms.
This seems to corroborate prior (quantitative) findings that CSR disclosure seems to be more about image enhancement than meaningful accountability.
The interviews also revealed that the Chinese managers perceived substantial guidance for CSR reporting being provided by their government.
Because prior studies suggest such guidance appeared to lead to improved reporting (Cho et al., 2013; Ho and Taylor, 2007), the finding served as the impetus for a new (quantitative) investigation (Patten, Ren, and Zhao – also under review).
The real point here is that alternative approaches to research can inform and advance each other.
Thomson (SEAJ 2013) encourages the SEA community to seek out journals beyond ‘the old favorites’ in order to be “exposed to other ideas, research methods, theories, and findings” (p. 146).
I like to think that, throughout my career, I’ve tried to not only seek out other journals, but other streams of research as well. Of course, I usually end up framing any new ideas in terms of a potential quantitative analysis.
its revolutionary zeal (Gray, Dillard, and Spence, 2009) its focus on the issues and concerns that defined the early years of the movement (Gray and Laughlin, 2013) its passion (Correa and Laine, 2013)
“We are who we are now because of what was when we were then”
Peter, Paul, and Mary Bob Dylan But most importantly...
“Kathy, I’m lost” I said though I knew she was sleeping. “I’m empty and aching, and I don’t know why.” Counting the cars on the New Jersey turnpike, They’ve all come to look for America.