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Motivations of legitimacy theory for CSR reporting in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria: a theoretical framework

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In the past, most CSR researchers have relied on stakeholder theory (SHT) as the basis for explaining corporate social and environmental disclosures. However, recent evidence from extant studies shows that legitimacy theory (LT) is gaining wider acceptability amongst scholars in their quest to explain the motivations behind corporate social and environmental disclosures. In an attempt to gain, maintain or repair organisational legitimacy, corporations have adopted different strategies in order to achieve this objective. Furthermore, maintaining organisational legitimacy means that a firm is conducting its activities in a proper and appropriate manner that is congruent with the standards expected by stakeholders, including the public, in its operating environment. This paper explores the motivational imperatives of the concept of legitimacy theory and provides evidence from CSR literature to support the argument that legitimacy theory underpins the conceptual framework for the development of a CSR model for the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, CSR reporting, corporate social disclosure, CSD, sustainable development, Niger Delta Region, legitimacy theory, sustainability, Nigeria, motivation

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