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Article
Publication date: 15 April 2020

Mahalaximi Adhikariparajuli, Abeer Hassan, Mary Fletcher and Ahmed A. Elamer

This paper aims to examine the level of disclosure on content elements of integrated reporting (IR) in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales higher education institutions…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the level of disclosure on content elements of integrated reporting (IR) in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales higher education institutions (HEIs). The authors suggest that integrated thinking is an internal process that organizations can follow to increase the level of disclosure on IR that can be used as an effective mechanism to enhance accountability with stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) guidelines and content analysis are used to analyze IR content elements in HEI reports from 2014-2016.

Findings

The results indicate a significant increase in the trend and extent of IR content elements. The HEI-specific characteristics examined, such as establishment of HEI; adoption of IR framework and governing board size are all statistically and positively associated with IR content elements disclosure. This paper introduces signalling theory to explore the idea that appropriate communication via integrated thinking can close the gap between the organization and its stakeholders via increased level of disclosure on IR content elements.

Practical implications

The results will assist policymakers and regulators to assess the benefits of voluntary implementation of IR at HEIs and evaluate possible mandatory implementation of IIRC guidelines. Second, the findings can assist managers of institutions interested in implementing IR.

Social implications

This study recommends universities to explicitly address IR issues in reporting, as this will increase their impact as leaders of educational thought in addition to their roles as partners, advisors, counselors and assessors.

Originality/value

This study explores whether HEIs in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales provide disclosure on IIRC content elements as a reflection of integrated thinking and whether the connectivity and interdependence between different departments will help to signal to stakeholders how HEIs create value for society.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2020

Idris M. Bufarwa, Ahmed A. Elamer, Collins G. Ntim and Aws AlHares

This study aims to investigate the impact of corporate governance (CG) mechanisms on financial risk reporting in the UK.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impact of corporate governance (CG) mechanisms on financial risk reporting in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a panel data of 50 non-financial firms belonging to 10 industrial sectors listed on the London Stock Exchange in the period 2011-2015. Multivariate regression techniques are used to examine the relationships.

Findings

The findings of this study reveal that CG has a significant influence on financial risk disclosure. Specifically, it is found that block ownership and board gender diversity have a positive effect on the level of corporate financial risk disclosure (FRD). While there is no significant relationship between board size and corporate FRD.

Research limitations/implications

This study has significant implications for policy-makers, investors and regulators. Evidence of growing FRD implies that efforts by several stakeholders have had some positive impact on the level of FRD in the firms examined. Examples of such changes include, namely, increasing board size and gender diversity acting as effective firm level advisors and monitors of FRD. As a consequence, regulators and policymakers should continually pursue reforms to encourage firms to follow CG principles that are promoted as good practice.

Originality/value

This study adds to the emerging body of literature on CG–risk disclosure relationships in the UK context using content analysis. The study also highlights that gender diversity enhances FRD.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 62 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2019

Ibrahem Alshbili, Ahmed A. Elamer and Eshani Beddewela

This study aims to examine the extent to which corporate governance structures and ownership types are associated with the level of corporate social responsibility…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the extent to which corporate governance structures and ownership types are associated with the level of corporate social responsibility disclosures (CSRD) in a developing country.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple regression techniques are used to estimate the effect of corporate governance structures and ownership types on CSRD using a sample of Libyan oil and gas companies between 2009 and 2013.

Findings

First, the study results suggest that although the level of CSRD in Libya is low in comparison to its western counterparts, ownership factors have a significant positive influence on CSRD. Second, the authors find board meetings to have a positive impact on CSRD. However, the authors fail to find any significant effect of board size and presence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) committees on CSRD. Overall, the results support prior theoretical evidence that pressures exerted by the government and external stakeholders have a considerable influence in promoting firm-level CSRD activities, specifically as a legitimising mechanism in fragile states.

Research limitations/implications

First, this study is based on the annual reports, and it did not examine any other reports or other mass communication mechanism that companies’ management may use to disclose CSR information. Future studies might consider disclosures in other channels, if any, such as the internet, CSR reports, etc. Additionally, this study adopts the neo-institutional theory perspective. Future studies might integrate multi-theoretical lenses to offer a richer basis for understanding and explaining CSRD determinants.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by first providing additional evidence for existing studies, which suggest that on average, better-governed companies are more liable to follow a more socially responsible agenda than poorly governed companies as a legitimising mechanism in fragile states. Also, this study overcomes a major weakness in existing Libyan studies, which have mainly used descriptive data.

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2020

Aws AlHares, Ahmed A. Elamer, Ibrahem Alshbili and Maha W. Moustafa

This study aims to examine the impact of board structure on risk-taking measured by research and development (R&D) intensity in OECD countries.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the impact of board structure on risk-taking measured by research and development (R&D) intensity in OECD countries.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a panel data of 200 companies on Forbes global 2000 over the 2010-2014 period. It uses the ordinary least square multiple regression analysis techniques to examine the hypotheses.

Findings

The results show that the frequency of board meetings and board size are significantly and negatively related to risk-taking measured by R&D intensity, with a greater significance among Anglo-American countries than among Continental European countries. The rationale for this is that the legal and accounting systems in the Anglo American countries have greater protection through greater emphasis on compliance and disclosure, and therefore, allowing for less risk-taking.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could investigate risk-taking using different arrangements, conducting face-to-face meetings with the firm’s directors and shareholders.

Practical implications

The results suggest that better-governed firms at the firm- or national-level have a high expectancy of less risk-taking. These results offer regulators a resilient incentive to pursue corporate governance (CG) and disclosure reforms officially and mutually with national-level governance. Thus, these results show the monitoring and legitimacy benefits of governance, resulting in less risk-taking. Finally, the findings offer investors the opportunity to build specific expectations about risk-taking behaviour in terms of R&D intensity in OECD countries.

Originality/value

This study extends and contributes to the extant CG literature, by offering new evidence on the effect of board structure on risk-taking. The findings will help policymakers in different countries in estimating the sufficiency of the available CG reforms to prevent management mishandle and disgrace.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2019

Engy E. Abdelhak, Ahmed A. Elamer, Aws AlHares and Craig McLaughlin

The purpose of this study is to investigate Egyptian auditors’ ethical reasoning, to understand whether auditors’ ethical reasoning is influenced by audit firm size and/or…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate Egyptian auditors’ ethical reasoning, to understand whether auditors’ ethical reasoning is influenced by audit firm size and/or auditor’s position.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on 178 questionnaires that include six different ethical scenarios. This paper also uses the accounting ethical dilemma instrument that is developed by Thorne (2000) to measure the ethical reasoning of Egyptian auditors.

Findings

The findings are threefold. First, this study finds that the general level of deliberative ethical reasoning of auditors working in the Central Auditing Organization (CAO) and small firms are categorized in the post-conventional level, while auditors working in big and medium firms are categorized in conventional level. Second, the result suggests that there is a negative relationship between ethical reasoning and audit firm size in Egypt. Finally, the results show that ethical reasoning levels decrease when the position of auditors increase except for auditors working in CAO.

Originality/value

This study adds to the scarce literature in developing countries that measure auditors’ ethical reasoning. The findings suggest that auditors’ ethical reasoning depends on auditor’s firm size and the position the auditor holds within the firm. These findings will aid policymakers and regulators, especially in developing countries, to avoid any potential risk regarding professional misconduct and in evaluating the adequacy of the current code of ethics.

Details

International Journal of Ethics and Systems, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9369

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2020

Abeer Hassan, Ahmed A. Elamer, Mary Fletcher and Nawreen Sobhan

This paper aims to investigate the supply and demand side of sustainability assurance in Bangladesh.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the supply and demand side of sustainability assurance in Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on signalling theory, a logistic regression model is used for a sample of 100 of the largest Bangladeshi companies to study the relationships between assurance, sustainability disclosure, industry membership and reporting format.

Findings

Authors’ results show that companies which produce more sustainability information are more likely to get their sustainability assured, to be from non-carbon intensive industries, and are more likely to integrate their sustainability information with the financial annual reports. Authors’ results support the argument that organisations based in weaker legal environments are more likely to secure assurance as this adds to the credibility and reliability of sustainability reports.

Research limitations/implications

This paper has limitations which raise some issues for future research. First, the authors have covered only large companies; therefore, future research could examine the differences between small and large companies in relation to assurance. Secondly, the authors’ data consist of company sustainability disclosure information in the fiscal year 2015. Longitudinal studies are recommended to extend this research. Finally, future research could examine the moderating effects of geographical location on the relationship between assurance (and its providers) and other variables.

Practical implications

The findings of this paper will prove valuable to practitioners and researchers. Practitioners, including assurance providers and sustainability reporting managers will benefit from authors’ study as it covers both the demand and supply side characteristics of assurance. Researchers will benefit from the study as it investigates assurance practices in the developing country of Bangladesh.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to examine both the supply and demand sides of sustainability assurance in Bangladesh. Authors also introduce reporting format when measuring the relationship between assurance and its determinant factors at micro level. The study also links assurance to signalling theory.

Details

Accounting Research Journal, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1030-9616

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2018

Ahmed A. Elamer, Aws AlHares, Collins G. Ntim and Ismail Benyazid

This study aims to examine the impact of internal corporate governance mechanisms on insurance companies’ risk-taking in the UK context.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the impact of internal corporate governance mechanisms on insurance companies’ risk-taking in the UK context.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a panel data of all listed insurance companies on FTSE 350 over the 2005-2014 period. Multivariate regression techniques are used to estimate the effect of internal corporate governance mechanisms on insurance companies’ risk-taking.

Findings

The results show that the board size and board meetings are significantly and negatively related to risk-taking. In contrast, the results show that board independence and audit committee size are statistically insignificant but negatively related to risk-taking. The findings are robust to alternative measures and endogeneities.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have important implications for investors, managers, regulators of financial institutions and effectiveness of corporate governance reforms that have been pursued. Investors may further rely on internal corporate governance attributes to form expectations about risk-taking behaviour. Insurance companies need strong governance, as well as effective accounting and financial reporting standards, to enable proper insights into the company’s financial position.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the corporate governance literature and creates significant evidence regarding the role of corporate governance in constraining risk-taking behaviour in an industry with significantly complex context.

Details

International Journal of Ethics and Systems, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0828-8666

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 July 2020

Yi Feng, Abeer Hassan and Ahmed A. Elamer

This paper aims to contribute to the existing capital structure and board structure literature by examining the relationship among corporate governance, ownership…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to the existing capital structure and board structure literature by examining the relationship among corporate governance, ownership structure and capital structure.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a panel data of 595 firm-year observations from a unique and comprehensive data set of 119 Chinese real estate listed firms from 2014 to 2018. It uses fixed effect and random effect regression analysis techniques to examine the hypotheses.

Findings

The results show that the board size, ownership concentration and firm size have positive influences on capital structure. State ownership and firm profitability have inverse influences on capital structure.

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest that better-governed companies in the real estate sector tend to have better capital structure. These findings highlight the unique Chinese context and also offer regulators a strong incentive to pursue corporate governance reforms formally and jointly with the ownership structure. Finally, the results suggest investors the chance to shape detailed expectations about capital structure behavior in China. Future research could investigate capital structure using different arrangement, conducting face-to-face meetings with the firm’s directors and shareholders.

Practical implications

The findings offer support to corporate managers and investors in forming or/and expecting an optimal capital structure and to policymakers and regulators for ratifying laws and developing institutional support to improve the effectiveness of corporate governance mechanisms.

Originality/value

This paper extends, as well as contributes to the current capital structure and corporate governance literature, by proposing new evidence on the effect of board structure and ownership structure on capital structure. The results will help policymakers in different countries in estimating the sufficiency of the available corporate governance reforms to improve capital structure management.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2020

Mohamed M. El-Dyasty and Ahmed A. Elamer

Although a number of studies suggest that big audit firms provide higher audit quality in strict legal environments, empirical evidence remains inconclusive. As little is…

Abstract

Purpose

Although a number of studies suggest that big audit firms provide higher audit quality in strict legal environments, empirical evidence remains inconclusive. As little is known about the effect of auditor type on audit quality in less strictly legal environments, this study aims to investigate the impact of auditor type on audit quality in the Egyptian market.

Design/methodology/approach

Data of Egyptian-listed companies during the period 2011–2018 are used. To examine the impact of auditor type on audit quality, ordinary least square regression and robust standard errors clustered at year and industry level are used. This study uses discretionary accruals as a proxy for audit quality. Several additional analyzes are conducted to assess the robustness of the main results, including alternative measures of audit quality and auditor type.

Findings

The results show that audit firms tend to provide higher audit quality when they are affiliated with a foreign audit firm. However, Big 4 auditors do not provide higher audit quality compare to their counterparts. Additionally, the governmental agency, accountability state authority, that monopolize audit function in state-owned companies do not appear to be associated with higher audit quality. Finally, local audit firms have a negative association with audit quality. This may be their strategy to secure future clients that seek low-quality audits.

Research limitations/implications

This study suggests that affiliation with foreign audit firms will help the Egyptian firms to develop their abilities by using advanced technology and techniques and transfer rare expertize to the Egyptian auditors. This study also shows that the strategy adopted by many Egyptian audit firms to affiliate with foreign auditors reflects the desire of these firms to be included in one tier alongside Big 4 audit firms to increase their market share under a claim of providing a higher audit quality.

Originality/value

This study adds to the rare but growing body of literature by investigating how auditor type affects audit quality in the context of less strictly legal environments. The results are important, as investors, standards-setters and regulators have growing concerns over audit quality since the Enron scandal. The findings suggest that audit quality depends on auditor type. These findings have important implications for investors, standards-setters and auditors interested in auditor oversight, audit quality and auditor choice.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2019

Abeer Hassan, Mahalaximi Adhikariparajuli, Mary Fletcher and Ahmed Elamer

This paper aims to examine trends in the content of reporting within 135 UK higher education institutions (HEIs). It explores the extent to which integrated reporting (IR…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine trends in the content of reporting within 135 UK higher education institutions (HEIs). It explores the extent to which integrated reporting (IR) content elements, reflecting integrated thinking, are disclosed voluntarily and whether HEI-specific features influence the resulting disclosures.

Design/methodology/approach

Existing IR guidelines given by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) and the adoption of content analysis have provided the opportunity to examine the trend and extent of IR content elements associated in HEI corporate reports. The evidence was obtained from 405 UK HEI annual reports covering the period 2014-2016.

Findings

The results indicate a significant increase in the number of IR content elements embedded in HEI annual reports. The HEI-specific characteristics examined, such as the establishment of HEI (before or after 1992), adoption of IR framework and size of HEI, are all significantly and positively associated with IR content elements disclosure. This paper argues that institutional theory, isomorphism and isopraxism are relevant for explaining the changes in the contents of HEI annual reports. The findings also suggest that universities are beginning to adopt an integrated thinking approach to the reporting of their activities.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on IR content elements only and could be extended to include the fundamental concepts and basic principles of the IR framework. There are other factors that have a potentially crucial influence on HEI core activities (such as teaching and learning research and internationalisation) which have been omitted from this study.

Practical implications

The findings will allow policymakers to evaluate the extent to which integrated thinking is taking place and influencing the UK HEI sector in the selection and presentation of information. A further implication of the findings is that an appropriate a sector-wide enforcement and compliance body, for instance, the British Universities Finance Directors Group (BUFDG), may consider developing voluntary IR guidance in a clear, consistent, concise and comparable format. Also, it may pursue regulatory support for this guidance. In doing so, it may monitor the compliance and disclosure levels of appropriate IR requirements. Within such a framework, IR could be used to assist HEIs to make more sustainable choices and allow stakeholders to better understand aspects of HEI performance.

Social implications

The research has implications for society within and beyond the unique UK HEI sector. Universities are places of advanced thinking and can lead the way for other sectors by demonstrating the potential of integrated thinking to create a cohesive wide-ranging discourse and create engagement among stakeholder groups. Specifically, IR builds on the strong points of accounting, for instance, robust quantitative evidence collecting, relevance, reliability, materiality, comparability and assurability, to explain the sustainability discourse into a “language” logical to HEIs organisational decision makers. Consequently, IR may generate better visibility and knowledge of the financial values of exploiting capitals (financial, intellectual, human, manufactured, social and natural) and offer a multifaceted approach to reassess HEIs organizational performance in various sectors that support the growth of integrated thinking.

Originality/value

This is the first known study to explore HEI characteristics and link them with the level of voluntary IR content elements disclosed in UK HEIs.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 10 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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