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Barriers for sustainability reporting: evidence from Indo-Pacific region

Dinithi Dissanayake (Business School, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Sanjaya Kuruppu (Business School, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Wei Qian (Business School, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Carol Tilt (Business School, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)

Meditari Accountancy Research

ISSN: 2049-372X

Article publication date: 31 August 2020

Issue publication date: 21 June 2021

611

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insights into the barriers for sustainability reporting practices in five different countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses surveys and semi-structured interviews to explore the main barriers faced by the managers of listed companies in undertaking sustainability reporting.

Findings

The findings of the study reveal that the main barriers for sustainability reporting are attributable to lack of knowledge and understanding, additional cost involved, time constraints, lack of awareness and education in sustainability reporting and a lack of initiatives from government. These vary between three groups of countries: those with more developed reporting, those with less developed reporting and those with strong cultural constraints to reporting.

Research limitations/implications

This study adapts Lewin’s field theory and three-step model of change to be applied to group dynamics at a broader country level rather than at an organisational level.

Practical implications

The barriers identified in this paper are important for reporting companies to come up with strategies to mitigate existing barriers and for regulatory authorities to provide subsidies and other incentives to supplement the efforts of these listed companies. Also, non-reporting companies could use the findings as a measure of cautiousness to set up the necessary processes to have a smooth sustainability reporting process in their companies.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies that explore the barriers for sustainability reporting in five countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This project is being conducted in collaboration with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The authors gratefully acknowledge the support provided, both in-kind through the provision of data, and through funding from their DFAT programme. We gratefully acknowledge the support and expertise that Dr. Laurence Lester provided in the statistical analysis.

Citation

Dissanayake, D., Kuruppu, S., Qian, W. and Tilt, C. (2021), "Barriers for sustainability reporting: evidence from Indo-Pacific region", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 29 No. 2, pp. 264-293. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-01-2020-0703

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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