The recent decade of scandals, financial crisis, and loss in moral values questioned the soundness of firms' governance structure and held them more accountable to their societies. This put corporate boards under increased pressure to acknowledge their monitoring needs and respond to societal obligations. This paper offers a deepened understanding of the CSR-firm welfare relationship by suggesting its reliance on the participation of independent directors on corporate boards. Our findings show that higher board independence increases social disclosures. We also show that the effect of social disclosure on the firm's risk and performance is favorably affected by the participation of independent directors on corporate boards. Accordingly, we demonstrate that board independence not only facilitates firms' CSR reporting, but also positively influences the CSR-firm performance association. Board independence enhances the efficacy of CSR reporting by elevating the reliability of the disclosed information and amplifying its signaling power regarding the firm's future prospects. Our empirical evidence supports the U.K. corporate governance code main principles encouraging higher board independence for effective discharge of responsibilities.

You do not currently have access to this content.