How Does CSR Communication Affect New Zealand Firm Performance?
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has raised its importance to investors as they have high expectations on firms’ social performance. This study looks at the effect of CSR communication on New Zealand firm performance, in terms of firms’ stock return and profitability (ROA and Tobin’s Q). This study uses 123 New Zealand listed firms as the sample and extracts CSR words (CSRW) from their 34 years (1986 - 2020) of annual reports. The CSRW scores are created by counting the frequency of CSRW (total CSRW and the individual four dimensions of CSR) divided by the total number of words in the annual report. We follow Pencle and Malaescu (2016) and use their CSR dictionary to form our textual analysis and use fixed effect panel regression for data interpretation. The results show that there is no significant relationship between CSR and ROA, Tobin’s Q, and stock return. However, there is an increasing trend in the relationships between CSR and ROA, Tobin’s Q, and stock return, which is consistent with the fact that investors are more aware of firms’ sustainability strategy and corporate social responsibility.