The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of private social reporting (i.e. one-on-one dialogues between Nordic institutional investors and their investee companies) in facilitating companies' strategic actions. The paper uses a discourse analytic method to analyse the content of reports in order to derive companies' strategic actions with respect to managing social issues. Drawing on a unique dataset of private reports related to successful dialogues on human and labor rights issues, the paper finds that private reporting is dominated by a discourse of social risk, social norms, dialogue process, and social actions. This paper highlights the importance of private reporting for enabling investee companies to improve their sustainability-driven policies, management systems, and transparency. The research contributes to the sustainability disclosure and investor activism literature by revealing the details of business actions in emerging private reports.
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