Corporate social responsibility (CSR) website disclosures: empirical evidence from the German banking industry

Research output: Journal contributionsJournal articlesResearchpeer-review


Purpose – Content analysis was used to examine the CSR disclosures of 78 bank websites based on four
categories: environment and energy, human resources, customers and products and community involvement.
Furthermore, sample units were grouped according to their characteristics, and nonparametric tests were
employed to determine significant differences between these groups.
Design/methodology/approach – This study (1) examines the extent of corporate social responsibility
(CSR) disclosure on bank websites and (2) analyzes the relationship between online CSR disclosure and bank
characteristics (i.e. size, profitability, capital market orientation, government ownership, media visibility and
bank category).
Findings – The results reveal that the most-disclosed (least-disclosed) CSR information by banks relates to
customers and products (environment and energy). Moreover, characteristics such as size, capital market
orientation, government-ownership and media visibility are significant in explaining CSR website disclosures,
while profitability (bank category) is not (only partially) significant.
Research limitations/implications – Although the sample constitutes all the relevant banks in Germany, it
is small and limited to a single national context. Thus, the results may not be generalizable.
Originality/value – This study contributes to the relatively scarce literature concerning CSR disclosures on
banks’ websites, provides new empirical data and extends prior research that compares CSR practices among
different types of banks. Recommendations for action are also formulated that are relevant for banking
practitioners in the present and future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Bank Marketing
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)768-788
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 06.07.2021

    Research areas

  • Management studies - Banks, Corporate social responsibility (CSR), Disclosures, Germany, Websites