This paper aims to unite firm- and country-level drivers of the disclosure of integrated reports. It creates a synopsis of voluntary disclosure, signaling, proprietary cost, legitimacy, stakeholder and institutional theory.
The empirical analyses build on a logistic regression model examining the disclosure decisions for integrated reports published between 2012 and 2016 by the 2,000 largest listed companies worldwide.
The results indicate that the disclosure of integrated reports by large listed companies is explained in parallel by multiple theories, operationalized by the firm-level characteristics of lower profitability, a higher market-to-book value, lower leverage, lower level of industry concentration and higher social performance. Additionally, the country-level characteristics of civil law setting and lower investor protection, lower power distance and lower masculinity coincide with the disclosure of integrated reports.
The inferences emphasize that a single theoretical framework cannot explain the decision to disclose an integrated report. Rather, a set of economic firm characteristics may lead to different disclosure decisions in different socio-economic and institutional environments.
The author would like to thank as well the editors Prof. Charl de Villiers and Prof. Warren Maroun as the anonymous reviewer for their valuable comments during the review process of this paper. Additionally, the author would like to thank the participants of the fall conference of the scientific commission for sustainability management of the VHB 2016, Michael Grassmann and Deborah Yvonne Nagel for very fruitful discussions and their helpful comments and remarks on previous versions of the paper.
Fuhrmann, S. (2019), "A multi-theoretical approach on drivers of integrated reporting – uniting firm-level and country-level associations", Meditari Accountancy Research, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 168-205. https://doi.org/10.1108/MEDAR-12-2018-0412Download as .RIS
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