Changing trends of corporate social responsibility reporting in the world-leading airlines

Lu Yang, Cindy S.B. Ngai, Wenze Lu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The recent outbreak of major economic, environmental and social incidents (e.g. privacy leakage, corruption) has put the blooming airline industry under spotlight. However, scant studies examined the trends and changes of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices through CSR reporting on the economic, environmental and social dimensions in the aviation industry. To fill the gap, the current study examines the economic, environmental and social themes of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards on CSR communication of the global airlines. Quantitative content analysis is adopted for analyzing and comparing the CSR themes in 105 CSR reports of 21 airlines in major leagues from 2013 to 2017. Our findings indicated a salient growing trend in CSR reporting in the economic dimension while GRI 201-Economic Performance was the most significantly reported sub-topic. Our study has also compared the CSR reporting practices between the APEC based airlines and EU based airlines. The results indicated that focus of CSR reporting was different in the two regions. This study provided a comprehensive understanding of how global airlines communicate their CSR practices and respond to stakeholders’ expectations via CSR reporting. This study informs both academics and practitioners about the changing trends of CSR development and reporting in the airline industry worldwide.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0234258
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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