The integrated reports published by companies vary significantly in quality in spite of them claiming to be compliant with the integrated reporting (IR) Framework issued by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The purpose of this paper is to develop and apply a normative benchmark against which compliance with the IR Framework, and the extent to which integrated reports make visible how organisations create value, can be evaluated.
The three pillars of the IR Framework – Capitals, Content Elements and the Guiding Principles – are operationalised by the way of a set of disclosure items that capture the extent to which they manifest within integrated reports. The created disclosure index is applied to analyse reports of five companies that are expected to be superior integrated reporters.
The normative benchmark that was created to operationalise the IR Framework identifies a vast amount of potentially communicable information and various degrees to which information may be disclosed. The integrated reports analysed differ significantly in the extent to which value-creation stories are made visible, despite some of the companies promoting to have actively engaged with IR as participants of the IIRC Pilot Program Business Network. All selected companies performed poorly in comparison to the normative benchmark.
This paper is the first to provide a comprehensive normative benchmark for analysing and evaluating compliance with the IR Framework and the extent to which integrated reports make visible how organisations create value.
Liu, Z., Jubb, C. and Abhayawansa, S. (2019), "Analysing and evaluating integrated reporting: Insights from applying a normative benchmark", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 235-263. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-02-2018-0031
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