Sustainability reporting and reputation risk management: an Australian case study

Janine Hogan (Australian National University, Canberra, Australia)
Sumit Lodhia (Centre for Accounting, Governance and Sustainability, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management

ISSN: 1834-7649

Publication date: 20 September 2011



The purpose of this paper is to explore the ways in which a leading Australian public company uses sustainability reporting to respond to reputation risk arising from proposed regulation.


The paper uses a case study approach and both qualitative and quantitative methods of content analysis. The qualitative component is based on a framework of reputation conceptualisations and image restoration strategies adopted from existing literature.


The key findings of this paper are that the concept of reputation risk management (RRM) could assist in understanding what motivates sustainability reporting, and how proposed regulation could lead to a decrease in the quantity but increase in the quality of sustainability reporting. In addition, “honesty” is revealed as a potential RRM strategy.


The paper extends existing research on the RRM thesis by studying an Australian case of a reputation‐damaging event over a number of reporting years, examining a range of sustainability reporting media, and adding a quantitative aspect to an otherwise qualitative research framework.



Hogan, J. and Lodhia, S. (2011), "Sustainability reporting and reputation risk management: an Australian case study", International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, Vol. 19 No. 3, pp. 267-287.

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Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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