Journal of Business & Economic Policy

ISSN 2375-0766 (Print), 2375-0774 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/jbep

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Practice in Bahrain
Khaled Ibrahim Al-Tarawneh

Purpose: The aim of this paper is to investigate the level of CSR disclosure by Bahraini listed companies in order to evaluate their participation towards the country economic development and to examine whether Bahrain is in line with the international community order in complying with global social and environmental sustainability standards. The study also analyzes sustainability variations among Bahraini companies relative to some firm characteristics such as firm's community- sensitivity, firm size and profitability. Methodology: A disclosure index (scorecard) incorporating 27 items of CSR information was applied to a sample of 29 Bahraini listed firms in order to measure the level of CSR in Bahrain. Mean comparisons and regression analysis were used to explain variations in CSR among the sampled firms. Findings: The findings indicate that the overall CSR in Bahrain is 41% of the utilized scorecard index. Further, the analysis indicates that firm sustainability differs according to the sub parts of sustainability. The average sub-indices were 42% for social disclosure, 52% for corporate governance disclosure and 26% for environmental disclosure. Only 7 companies out of the 29 in the sample have average index over 50%. In general, this level of CSR is still below 50% of the anticipated level of sustainability according to international sustainability standards. The results also revealed that large firms and community- sensitive firms have more CSR level than smaller and less community- sensitive firms. Regression analysis incorporating firm size, firm sensitivity and firm performance indicates that only firm performance represented by net income appears to be a significant explanatory variable in explaining CSR variations among firms. Originality: the paper offers new insights in explaining CSR in general and specific insights into research in emergent economies such as that of the GCC area.

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