SLAPPed: The relationship between SLAPP suits and changed ESG reporting by firms

Olivia Giles, Daniel Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This paper aims to explore any potential link between the corporate issue of a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation (SLAPP) with a changed environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting focus as part of a complementary communicative legitimation strategy. Design/methodology/approach – A longitudinal content analysis of the annual reports of three sample Australian corporations was undertaken, measuring changes in ESG disclosure levels and disclosure focus around the time a SLAPP was issued by each sample firm.
Findings – This paper provides support for the contention that both the number of ESG disclosures and the type of ESG disclosures changed after the sample firms issued SLAPPs. Research limitations/implications – A number of limitations are identified within the paper, including difficulties when SLAPPs are initiated.
Originality/value – To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first investigation of the relationship between SLAPPs and ESG reporting, and this study helps open up a new area of research into how ESG reporting is used by corporations in a strategic manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-79
Number of pages36
JournalSustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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