Seeking legitimacy through CSR reporting: Evidence from China

Narisa Tianjing Dai, Fei Du, S. Mark Young, Guliang Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study finds that Chinese firms that issue high-quality corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports are perceived as having greater legitimacy (operationalized by government endorsement and media endorsement) by the Chinese government and media. Chinese firms that issue higher-quality CSR reports subsequently receive higher levels of government endorsement and media endorsement, which in turn lead to better financial performance. The positive relationship between the quality of a firm’s CSR disclosure and subsequent financial performance is mediated by the firm’s perceived level of legitimacy. The mediating role of government endorsement is stronger for firms based in underdeveloped regions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-29
Number of pages29
JournalJournal of Management Accounting Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Disclosure quality
  • Financial performance
  • Government subsidy
  • Legitimacy
  • Media coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Accounting


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