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Esther Ortiz and José G. Clavel

Today global capital markets require international consensus about disclosure requirements and other barriers to globalization. Business reporting has improved over the years and we are witnessing a wide range of disclosures of non-financial information. Research methods used in corporate social responsibility (CSR) are conditioned by the characteristics of this information. It is necessary to use appropriate methods to develop conclusions in this field. Here we have used ‘correspondence analysis’ to examine Annual Reports and Forms 20-F according to different Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). We examined 84 Annual Reports and Forms 20-F prepared before the harmonization of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) (for 1998 and 1999 of Spanish, German, and British companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)). Correspondence analysis has been useful in determining whether human resources disclosure policy depends on factors like the country of the firm, size, industry, listing status, or the audit company. The results show that there was a wide variety of disclosure and that country, size, industry, and listing status shaped this policy, with the most important difference being the type of report. This is just one clear example of the kind of research that can be applied to CSR when new statistical tools allow new approaches.