Search results

1 – 10 of 18
Open Access
Article
Publication date: 27 July 2020

Ericka Costa and Michele Andreaus

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the multidimensional nature of social and nonprofit organisations' accountability and performance measurement systems (PMSs)…

1839

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the multidimensional nature of social and nonprofit organisations' accountability and performance measurement systems (PMSs). It further considers how these systems help in defining outcome performance indicators downward to beneficiaries

Design/methodology/approach

The paper discusses participatory action research (PAR) within an Italian social enterprise. In order to increase dialogue, participation and engagement, the researchers adopted focus groups as a preferred method of investigation and conducted a broad documental analysis from July 2016 to March 2018. The paper discusses the gathered data in light of the social impact value chain as well as the multiple-constituency approach.

Findings

The findings support the idea that social and nonprofit organisations lack the expertise and resources to evaluate outcomes and impact; however, through PAR, the organisation defined their desired outcomes and ascertained which internal output measures were most likely to be correlated with these outcomes. Moreover, the findings highlight that nonprofits develop outcome measurements less frequently because they have more control over their immediate activities and outputs.

Practical implications

This research suggests the need to reinforce lateral and downward accountability based on mission and mission-based activities in order to make the performance management system of social and nonprofit organisation linked to the organisational strategies.

Originality/value

This paper innovates methodologically in two directions: 1) it adopts action research as a qualitative method, allowing the researcher to generate solutions to collectively-identified problems and 2) the paper's arguments are strongly supported by rich empirical exploration that occurred over a period of 20 months in an Italian social enterprise.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 January 2021

Blerita Korca and Ericka Costa

This paper discusses the current state of research into Directive 2014/95/EU and non-financial disclosure (NFD), with the aim of offering a future research agenda.

1301

Abstract

Purpose

This paper discusses the current state of research into Directive 2014/95/EU and non-financial disclosure (NFD), with the aim of offering a future research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have conducted a systematic literature review of 78 studies spanning seven years (2014–2020) that address Directive 2014/95/EU.

Findings

The literature review revealed four main avenues for future research. First, future studies could focus on addressing issues related to the EU Directive's potential impacts, both in terms of NFD and companies' financial performance. Second, because context plays an important role in defining the regulation's impact, future research should consider these contextual factors in NFD. Third, further research should investigate the interplay between the binding requirements of the Directive and the non-binding guidelines suggested to implement it. Finally, future research would do well to employ additional theoretical approaches in order to interpret the Directive's diverse effects for various countries, organisations and timelines.

Research limitations/implications

This research agenda is intended to help scholars in this field to understand what has yet to be known in order to develop a complete understanding of the EU Directive on non-financial information disclosure.

Practical implications

Focussing on the Directive's implementation across countries and organisations with a longitudinal approach, this paper could indicate whether or not mandatory reporting enhances non-financial information disclosure and consequently, organisational actions. This work could inform both companies' and policymakers' approach to disclosure, whether mandatory or otherwise.

Originality/value

To date, many studies have focussed on specific issues regarding the EU Directive. This paper, however, presents the first systematic literature review considering the current state of research into the EU Directive, thus drawing a future research agenda.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 25 July 2022

Ericka Costa, Caterina Pesci, Michele Andreaus and Emanuele Taufer

This paper aims to investigate the application of the Italian Banking Association (ABI) industry-specific reporting standard in microfinance institutions by determining…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the application of the Italian Banking Association (ABI) industry-specific reporting standard in microfinance institutions by determining whether or not a banking sector reporting standard can enhance non-financial reporting (NFR) quality and volume to meet stakeholders’ information needs in the specific setting investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper develops an analysis of available ABI documents from 2006 to 2013 to conduct a content analysis of the quality and volume of the NFR of 98 Italian cooperative banks (CBs) during the 2008–2009 ABI implementation year. These data are analysed using two regression models to investigate the quality and volume of NFR disclosures.

Findings

The findings suggest that for CBs in the Italian banking sector, the information provided in the non-financial reports in adherence to the ABI sector reporting standard is relevant in terms of both volume and quality. However, when investigating specific categories of disclosure such as the community, the relevance of the ABI reporting standard is fairly low. The authors question the “one-size-fits-all” approach favouring a more sector-tailored approach to ensure that the NFR covers key sectoral concerns.

Practical implications

The high heterogeneity in the sector could negatively affect the capability of sector-specific standards to truly foster reliable, complete and extensive NFR. Therefore, NFR standard-setters, such as the International Sustainability Standards Board, should consider these heterogeneities.

Social implications

Reporting standardisation should be multi-voiced and include different – even contrasting – perspectives to promote expert and non-expert engagements.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on hybrid organisations and shows how the theoretical approach of dialogic accountability can improve the quality of sector-specific reporting standards.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 July 2018

Ericka Costa, Caterina Pesci, Michele Andreaus and Emanuele Taufer

Drawing on the phenomenological concepts of “empathy” and “communal emotions” developed by Edith Stein (1917, 1922), the purpose of this paper is to discuss the…

1218

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the phenomenological concepts of “empathy” and “communal emotions” developed by Edith Stein (1917, 1922), the purpose of this paper is to discuss the co-existence both of the legitimacy and accountability perspectives in voluntarily delivered social and environmental reporting (SER), based on different “levels of empathy” towards different stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts an interpretive research design, drawn from Stein’s concept of empathy by using a mixed-method approach. A manual content analysis was performed on 393 cooperative banks’ (CB) social and environmental reports from 2005 to 2013 in Italy, and 14 semi-structured interviews.

Findings

The results show that CBs voluntarily disclose information in different ways to different stakeholders. According to Stein, the phenomenological concept of empathy, and its understanding within institutions, allows us to interpret these multiple perspectives within a single social and environmental report. Therefore, when the process of acquiring knowledge in the CB–stakeholder relationship is complete and mentalised (level 3, re-enactive empathy), the SER holds high informative power, consistent with the accountability perspective; on the contrary, when this process is peripheral and perceptional (level 1, basic empathy), the SER tends to provide more self-assessment information, attempting to portray the bank in a positive light, which is consistent with the legitimacy perspective.

Originality/value

The concept of empathy introduced in this paper can assist in interpreting the interactions between an organisation and different stakeholders within the same social and environmental report. Moreover, the approach adopted in this paper considers different stakeholders simultaneously, thus responding to previous concerns regarding the lack of focus on multiple stakeholders.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 July 2019

Massimo Contrafatto, Ericka Costa and Caterina Pesci

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretically informed analysis of social and environmental reporting (SER) evolution, i.e. how and why the SER evolved over time…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a theoretically informed analysis of social and environmental reporting (SER) evolution, i.e. how and why the SER evolved over time in a cooperative bank in Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a qualitative fieldwork case study conducted from 2011 to 2015. Information and data were collected through several methods including: interviews with managers involved in the SER’s process; analysis of the SER-related documents; analysis of the website; and observations in the field. The analysis of the empirical evidence draws on the institutional logic (IL) perspective, which provides theoretical insights to interpret the role of the contrasting institutional forces in the evolution of SER.

Findings

The empirical analysis unveils three different stages in the evolution of SER: the “birth” whereby a new form of social reporting was initiated; the “development” through which SER was implemented to become a formal component of the organizational management; and the “de-structuring” when the SER was gradually de-composed. This gradual de-structuring, as well as the initiation and implementation processes, was influenced by different institutionally infused rationalities and logics. These institutionally infused rationalities and logics, along with the specific organizational and contextual events, provided the resources, and created the space and opportunity, for the SER-related changes to occur.

Originality/value

The analysis offers theoretical insights to understand “how” (i.e. processes) and “why” (i.e. the conditions under which) SER gradually evolved, i.e. emerged, was constructed and developed during the phases of implementation and post-implementation. Furthermore, it is shown that SER is multifunctional in nature and unveils how and why these multiple functions change over time. Finally, the analysis provides a theoretical contribution by illuminating the role that different and contrasting ILs play in driving the adoption of organizational practices.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 February 2018

Graziano Coller, Maria Laura Frigotto and Ericka Costa

The purpose of this paper is to encourage a discussion of the implementation of management control systems (MCSs) in the MCS-strategy relationship. Borrowing from the…

1384

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to encourage a discussion of the implementation of management control systems (MCSs) in the MCS-strategy relationship. Borrowing from the literature on software development, the authors propose two archetypes of MCS implementation – waterfall and agile – and employ them to understand how the MCS-strategy fit unfolds over time.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors empirically ground the archetypes on two exploratory case studies based on the collection of extensive qualitative data.

Findings

The authors show that MCSs change not only in relation to strategy, but also in response to an autonomous source: implementation. These two implementation archetypes differ in their degrees of specification, in the ways in which the transitions among their implementation phases occur and in the sources and ways in which their feedback loops affect the MCSs; however, both shed light on the dynamic dimension of fit and show that the fit should be assessed over time.

Research limitations/implications

The two archetypes are derived from two exploratory cases. Further research may both strengthen the framework by testing the validity of the archetypes for a wider set of empirical cases and enrich the framework by investigating the determinants of agile and waterfall MCS implementation.

Practical implications

The introduction of MCS implementation to the determinants of fit or misfit provides practitioners with a further interpretation and an action driver for fit or misfit. MCS implementation should be coordinated with the pace of change of strategy and should be changed in relation to the possibility for an organisation to move from a process- to a people-centred system (or vice versa).

Originality/value

The authors propose two archetypes of MCS implementation, both of which support the empirical interpretation and theoretical reconceptualisation of the concept of the MCS-strategy fit in terms of dynamic fit.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-004-9

Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2014

Ericka Costa

This article analyzes the interplay between regulation and social and environmental reporting in northern Italian social enterprises. Specifically, it investigates how…

Abstract

This article analyzes the interplay between regulation and social and environmental reporting in northern Italian social enterprises. Specifically, it investigates how “non-accredited” social enterprises discharge voluntary accountability before and after the introduction of regulation making social and environmental reporting compulsory for “accredited-social enterprises.” By developing a content analysis on 170 stand-alone social and environmental reports, this article provides a longitudinal analysis of voluntary disclosures in a regulated context from 2006 (before regulation) to 2009 (after regulation). Based on the total number of disclosures and the average number of sentences per report, Italian “non-regulated” social enterprises showed increased voluntary disclosure on social and environmental matters from 2006 to 2009; however, when analyzing the average sentences per report, it emerges that the information contained in the stand-alone social and environmental reports decreased, especially disclosures related to “social-related issues.” This article looks beyond crude noncompliance analysis with legislation and analyzes if the regulation influences organizations’ voluntary disclosure. It analyzes all of the social and environmental disclosures provided by northern Italian “non-accredited” social enterprises before and after the introduction of regulation. The novelty of this article rests in the fact that it does not analyze the social and environmental disclosure of “legal social enterprises”; rather, it considers the whole voluntary disclosure context for “non-accredited” social enterprises in a regulated environment.

Details

Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-004-9

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2014

Michele Andreaus and Ericka Costa

By contributing to the burgeoning debate regarding “for what” nonprofit organizations should be accountable, this article aims to develop and present an Integrated…

Abstract

Purpose

By contributing to the burgeoning debate regarding “for what” nonprofit organizations should be accountable, this article aims to develop and present an Integrated Accountability Model (IAM) that considers three dimensions of accountability.

Methodology/approach

After highlighting the limits of conventional accounting for NPOs and reframing the role of profit within them, the article presents a complete literature review on “to whom” and “for what” NPOs have to be accountable while further developing the IAM of integrated accountability.

Findings

The integrated accountability model developed in this article proposes three categories of NPO accountability: (i) the economic and financial dimension or the capability/ability to be economically sustainable in the long term; (ii) the mission-related dimension or the raison d’être of an NPO, that is, the purpose for which the NPO has been set up, its mission; and (iii) the social-related dimension or the relationship with the stakeholders, that is the impact of NPO activities on its stakeholders in terms of the social contract between them.

Originality/value

Broadly, this article makes a contribution to the literature on accountability for NPOs. In particular it sheds light on two points: the importance of separating the mission-related dimension from the social-related one and the potential to open avenues for expansion of the IAM model to for-profit organizations.

Details

Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-004-9

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 27 November 2014

Abstract

Details

Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-004-9

1 – 10 of 18