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Research Article Open Access

CORPORATE ETHICAL STANDARD AND THE QUALITY OF SUSTAINABILITY REPORTING: EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE FROM COMMERCIAL BANKS IN NIGERIA

Abstract

Compliance with legal requirements is mandatory for corporate entities in Nigeria, but when a decision is taken in a situation that is not legally binding, the appropriate moral decision depends on the ethical standard of the company. Sustainability reporting in Nigeria is voluntary, therefore the quantity and quality of disclosure is at the discretion of company leadership. This study evaluated the ethical behavior of Nigerian commercial banks and how it affects their sustainability disclosure quantity and quality. Focus was on the proportion of each bank’s corporate annual reports that contains environmental disclosures, social responsibility disclosures and governance disclosures. Information on the banks’ websites that relate to sustainability policies or activities was also considered. This work includes an extensive review of relevant literature, hinging the study on legitimacy theory. Crosssectional research design was utilized in undertaking the study. Samples of fourteen (14) commercial banks were selected from the companies listed on the Nigerian stock exchange and studied for a period of 2008-2017 financial years. Multivariate Linear model analysis was used to test the hypothesis. Findings revealed a positive relationship between corporate ethical standard and sustainability disclosure of Nigerian commercial banks. It is hereby, recommended that company directors and stakeholders should build strong corporate ethical culture since it directly affects their sustainability, while quality sustainability reporting practice is beneficial to the reporting entity, environment and society.

OLUSEYI SHARON O, OWOLABI AKINTOLA A, IYOHA FRANCIS O, ADETULA DORCAS T

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