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Article
Publication date: 18 April 2017

Belinda Rachael Williams

The purpose of this paper is to determine the current state of play for workplace diversity disclosures, specifically disability by investigating the recently revised…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine the current state of play for workplace diversity disclosures, specifically disability by investigating the recently revised Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations.

Design/methodology/approach

Case study methodology using documentary analysis techniques.

Findings

With gender diversity recommendations introduced in 2010 based on the business case perspective, the process of revising the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations provided an opportunity for the ASX to expand its diversity focus, with disability diversity specifically identified in the draft third edition. However, the key amendments were subsequently removed when the approved edition was released in 2014 with justification provided on the grounds that disability is a social issue, not a corporate governance issue. Through a widening of the corporate governance lens beyond the business case perspective, this paper calls for a re-imagining of corporate governance to incorporate an ethical viewpoint on diversity.

Social implications

Disability diversity disclosure is merely the first step towards reform in helping to bring about deep change within organisations. Without both administrative reform and institutional reform, any future revisitation of the disability disclosure recommendations may become little more than a “tick the box” approach.

Originality/value

The paper is unique in reviewing the ASX Corporate Governance developmental processes towards workplace disability in its recently revised edition.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2015

Belinda Rachael Williams

The purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of the role of communication in the sustainability reporting process within Australian local councils. The study…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of the role of communication in the sustainability reporting process within Australian local councils. The study focuses on three areas; understanding and awareness levels of local councils towards sustainability, sustainability reporting methods and the importance of community engagement.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative semi-structured interview approach was adopted for this investigation. In total, 18 semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior managers across 13 local councils.

Findings

Findings indicate that sustainability reporting is very much an emerging field in local government in Australia with varying levels of understanding and awareness of sustainability amongst councils. A lack of consistency in the current communication message being produced was found along with a lack of community engagement by most councils in the reporting process. Without clarity in the communication process, sustainability reporting in the local government context will continue to falter without a clear focus.

Practical implications

The paper suggests the need for the local government sector to carefully consider the role of communication in an effort to provide direction on how best to discharge their sustainability accountabilities.

Originality/value

Little attention has been given to the role of communication in accounting. The findings contribute to an understanding surrounding communication process issues in an effort to advance the sustainability reporting agenda within local government.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Belinda Rachael Williams and Gary O'Donovan

This paper aims to explore the accountants’ perspective towards their role and function as business advisors in assisting with the adoption of sustainable business…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the accountants’ perspective towards their role and function as business advisors in assisting with the adoption of sustainable business practices (SBPs) in small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire-based study was conducted on members from one of Australia’s leading professional accounting organizations.

Findings

Key findings from this research highlighted deficiencies in the effectiveness of the accounting profession in assisting SMEs in implementing SBPs despite a desire from clients for accountants to provide this advice and a belief that accountants are best placed to do so. Further, an expectations gap is evident between the level of involvement accountants believe they should be having in assisting SMEs and the level of involvement that is currently occurring.

Research limitations/implications

This finding has implications for the accounting profession, with accountants needing to examine their current business approaches in an effort to close this gap. If this does not occur, SMEs will most likely seek this much-needed advice and support from outside the profession.

Originality/value

Little attention has been given to the accountant’s role in respect of sustainability from an accountant’s perspective. The findings contribute to understanding the accountant’s importance in advancing their involvement in assisting SMEs in the uptake of SBPs.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 11 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Belinda Rachael Williams, Simone Bingham and Sonia Shimeld

The purpose of this study is to understand how board composition and independent non-executive director (INED) disclosures have changed in light of the global financial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand how board composition and independent non-executive director (INED) disclosures have changed in light of the global financial crisis (GFC) from an accountability perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis techniques were undertaken on a random sample of 75 publicly listed companies across two time periods, 2005 and 2010.

Findings

The findings highlighted increased INED board membership and increased skill and experience disclosure across all board positions, with the most significant increase being the INED position. The results support the notion that firms are attempting to restore their accountability relationships post-GFC through more transparent mechanisms of governance. However, concerns are also raised in the way individual companies are meeting the ASX Corporate Governance independence requirements.

Research limitations/implications

The results raise questions as to whether firms have implemented these changes to ensure effective governance and accountability responsibilities, or simply to give the appearance of good governance.

Originality/value

Little attention has been given in the literature to the characteristics of INEDs and whether board changes have been made in the wake of corporate and financial crises. The findings from this study contribute to an understanding of board composition and disclosures pre- and post-GFC.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 30 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 19 May 2021

Abstract

Details

Crossroads of Rural Crime
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-644-2

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