Corporate Sustainability Reporting and Stakeholders’ Interests: Evidence from China

Lu Xu, Li Xie, Shengjun Mei, Jianli Hao, Yuqian Zhang, Yu Song*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper examines whether the adoption of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) by listed firms could enhance the alignment between corporate sustainability reporting and stakeholders’ interests in China. Drawing on content analysis of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reports of 48 selected listed firms and a questionnaire survey of 409 respondents, this study shows that most of the sampled firms with GRI adoption have more sustainability activities identified in the content analysis than their peers that do not follow the GRI guidelines in the same industries; both groups of firms have a similar pattern of disclosure frequency in light of the six dimensions developed in this study; and there is a disconnect between the stakeholders’ needs and the sustainability reporting practice of the sampled listed firms. The findings reflect that the current corporate social responsibility reporting practice could be interpreted as a strategic response to the government’s policy priorities, rather than a direct attempt to address stakeholders’ concerns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3443
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • China
  • content analysis
  • corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • environmental, social, and governance (ESG)
  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
  • questionnaire survey
  • stakeholders’ interests
  • sustainability reporting


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