To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Is integrated reporting transformative? An exploratory study of non-financial reporting archetypes

Pablo Rodríguez-Gutiérrez (Organización de Empresas, Universidad de Córdoba, Córdoba, Spain)
Carmen Correa (Economía Financiera y Contabilidad, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain)
Carlos Larrinaga (Economía y Administración de Empresas, Universidad de Burgos, Burgos, Spain)

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal

ISSN: 2040-8021

Article publication date: 27 June 2019

Issue publication date: 9 July 2019

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to generate insights about the transformative potential of integrated reporting by exploring organisational adoption of non-financial reporting design archetypes available in the field.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on the concept of design archetype, this study conducts an exploratory interpretative based on qualitative semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis. The study is based on the Spanish integrated reporting field.

Findings

This study reveals that IIRC framework lacks the transformative potential to become an environmental disturbance for corporate reporting practice. It explains how organisations, in their attempt to seek coherence with underlying interpretative schemes, change their structural arrangements (structure, processes and systems) to adopt sustainability and integrated reporting design archetypes available in the field. Though organisational differences are portrayed, the transition from a sustainability-reporting archetype to an integrated-reporting archetype does not seem to be easily achieved.

Research limitations/implications

Due to its exploratory nature, further investigation of the transformative potential of integrated reporting is needed to address intra-organisational factors such as internal stakeholder interests, organisational values, individual or collective agency to embed interpretative schemes into structural arrangements, and technical and managerial capabilities enabling action.

Practical implications

Findings inform practitioners and policymakers about the hindrances to integrated reporting implementation to be considered for prospective regulation and standardisation.

Social implications

The study reflects on the difficulties for both mainstreaming sustainability to influence decision-making and developing reporting archetypes coherent with integrated thinking.

Originality/value

By focusing on archetype design, the paper provides insights to assess the transformative potential of integrated reporting.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the reviewers and Carol Adams for their helpful comments and Matias Laine for her assistance in the project. We are also grateful for the financial assistance provided by Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad, FEDER and Consejería de Educación, Junta de Castilla y León (Grants ECO2015-65782-P and BU058P17).

Citation

Rodríguez-Gutiérrez, P., Correa, C. and Larrinaga, C. (2019), "Is integrated reporting transformative? An exploratory study of non-financial reporting archetypes", Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, Vol. 10 No. 3, pp. 617-644. https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-12-2017-0156

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited