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Stakeholder perceptions of sustainability reporting on the websites of technical universities in Ghana

Kwame Oduro Amoako (Department of Accountancy, Sunyani Technical University, Sunyani, Ghana)
Emmanuel Opoku Marfo (Department of Entrepreneurship and Business Sciences, University of Energy and Natural Resources, Sunyani, Ghana)
Ellis Kofi Akwaa-Sekyi (Department of Accounting and Finance, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Newman Amaning (Department of Accountancy, Sunyani Technical University, Sunyani, Ghana)
Nicholas Yankey (Department of Accounting, University of Ghana, Accra, Ghana)

Benchmarking: An International Journal

ISSN: 1463-5771

Article publication date: 2 January 2023

31

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores stakeholder perceptions on the nature and extent of sustainability reporting on the websites of technical universities (TUs) in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected data from the websites of the 10 TUs in Ghana and interviewed the stakeholders of the TUs. In analyzing the data, the authors used thematic analysis for the interview responses. The authors also adopted the global reporting initiative (GRI) guidelines and campus sustainability assessment tools for the presentation and analysis of the sustainability disclosures on the websites of the TUs.

Findings

The authors found that due to weak institutional coercions, there were limited disclosures on the websites of the TUs, which aimed at gaining stakeholders' legitimacy; the disclosures were more focused on organizational profile, governance and educational aspects of sustainability. To a large extent, while some external stakeholders such as parents, regulators and alumni appear to be less interested in the disclosures on the TU's websites, internal stakeholders such as employees (teaching and non-teaching staff) and students who frequently visited the TU's websites perceived limited reporting and were not impressed with the extent of sustainability disclosures on these websites.

Practical implications

The findings of this study are intended to assist policy-makers in the educational sector to appreciate the importance of sustainability reporting on their websites. The results of this study will assist higher educational institutions (HEIs) in increasing the success rate of sustainability implementation by overcoming the lack of sustainability disclosures on their websites. Thus, the results of this study have implications for sustainability implementations, particularly those in emerging economies and policy-makers of universities worldwide.

Originality/value

This study could provide two significant values. First, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, no other study has explored stakeholder perceptions of sustainability reporting in implementing sustainability within the education sector. Second, the results were arrived at by combining stakeholder consultations with content analyses, which could be a good guideline for sustainability implementation in the educational sector of developing countries.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the management, staff and students of all the technical universities that provided information during data collection for this research paper. The authors also acknowledge the immense contributions of Associate Professor Isaac Oduro Amoako of Coventry University, UK and Associate Professor Frank Nyame-Asiamah of Anglia Ruskin University, UK for the constructive suggestions in shaping this paper.

Citation

Amoako, K.O., Marfo, E.O., Akwaa-Sekyi, E.K., Amaning, N. and Yankey, N. (2023), "Stakeholder perceptions of sustainability reporting on the websites of technical universities in Ghana", Benchmarking: An International Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/BIJ-02-2022-0104

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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