This paper aims to establish the extent to which South African state-owned entities (SOEs), where integrated reporting is a quasi-mandatory reporting requirement, have incorporated the principles of the international integrated reporting framework. These identified South African SOE reporting practices are compared with the ‘integrated reporting’ related disclosures of SOEs in selected countries, where integrated reporting remains voluntary.
This paper deploys a qualitative research approach, to thematically analyse the content of publicly available annual or integrated reports of South Africa SOEs, as the primary country of analysis, with those of their counterparts in five purposively selected countries. The relative scores for the SOEs of each country is calculated using a disclosure index derived from the international integrated reporting framework principles.
The paper found that despite being a quasi-mandatory reporting requirement, not all South African SOEs complied with all the international integrated reporting framework principles. Accepting the assertion that integrated reporting enhances organisational transparency and accountability, the accountability disclosure practices of South African SOEs appear more comprehensive than their counterparts in other countries.
Extant research into integrated reporting has primarily focussed on the profit-seeking private sector, with limited research into its applicability in the public sector. This paper attempts to address this paucity by examining aspects of integrated reporting by South African SOEs, which are then compared to accountability reporting practices in other countries.
Declaration:This research did not receive any specific grant from funding agencies in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.
Ackers, B. and Adebayo, A. (2021), "The adoption of integrated reporting by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) – an international comparison", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-05-2021-0194
Emerald Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited