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An exploration of the motivating factors for the preparation of an integrated report in contextual settings

Nick Sciulli (Institute for Sustainable Industries and Liveable Cities, Victoria University Business School, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)
Desi Adhariani (Department of Accounting, Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia)

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management

ISSN: 1176-6093

Article publication date: 23 October 2021

Issue publication date: 2 November 2021




It is 10 years since the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) was founded and the development of the IIRC Framework has been adopted by thousands of organisations. This paper aims to provide empirical evidence on the motivation for the preparation of integrated reports from a diffusion of innovation (DOI) perspective.


Three case study organisations operating in distinct industry sectors are investigated to ascertain the motivation for the adoption of integrated reporting. DOI theory was adopted as the theoretical lens to guide the research design. An interpretative approach is used to ascertain common themes from an analysis of semi-structured interview transcripts of senior managers and directors.


The findings from these case studies support the main tenets of DOIs theory. The evidence suggests that senior executive leadership plays a significant role in commencing the integrated reporting “journey”. This study finds evidence of DOI characteristics, such as relative advantage, compatibility and observability with respect to the objectives of senior managers. The main motivations for the production of the integrated report were to demonstrate leadership and innovation to stakeholders, overcome the perceived inadequacies of the disclosures required for traditional annual reports, to enhance transparency and to satisfy the changing demands of investors and other stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

This project captures the perceptions and views of preparers of the integrated report rather than its users. In addition, only three case study sites were investigated, therefore, generalisations would be spurious.

Practical implications

Other organisations yet to consider the production of integrated reports or to re-assess their stakeholder relationships, could use these findings to plan for their own future reporting obligations.


The organisations investigated were a superannuation fund, a multinational company and a charity. All are recognised leaders in their respective industries.



The authors wish to thank the Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education of the Republic of Indonesia and the University of Indonesia for funding of this joint research project. The receipt of financial support is greatly appreciated. The authors also wish to thank the editor, Prof. Lukas Goretzki and two anonymous reviewers for their insightful suggestions and determination to improve on the quality of earlier versions of the paper.


Sciulli, N. and Adhariani, D. (2021), "An exploration of the motivating factors for the preparation of an integrated report in contextual settings", Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, Vol. 18 No. 4/5, pp. 545-577.



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