To present the continuation of a case study by Beck et al. (2017) on an Australian bank (CBD) during the period 2004–2013 by examining whether integrated reporting affects…
To present the continuation of a case study by Beck et al. (2017) on an Australian bank (CBD) during the period 2004–2013 by examining whether integrated reporting affects relational capital and helps to repair an organisations’ reputation. Both studies examine how a bank rocked by a major scandal in 2004 has attempted to repair its legitimacy through integrated reporting (<IR>). The paper aims to discuss these issue.
This study is a post facto analysis based on the original research from Beck et al. (2017). The research process involved a case study approach with an analysis framed by impression management theory to investigate whether the information in CBD’s integrated reports is consistent with other information available to investors.
The authors find there is a gap between what CBD discloses in its integrated reports and what is publicly available in other media. CBD’s talk and actions are not aligned, and that asymmetry translates into a decline of trust in CBD. The bank’s integrated reports reveal how management discloses or withholds information to protect their own interests and at their own discretion. These conclusions indicate that the integrated reporting paradigm is being co-opted by IM strategies to improve legitimacy through trust, reputation and social capital.
Future research needs to reach beyond the organisational boundaries and understand if <IR> adds value for society, or is just a new form of multicapitalism, being an ideology to help the rich become richer? The answers are important if we ever hope to see misconduct disappear from our corporations and for company reports to become documents bearing truth and not espouse rhetoric based on organisational hypocrisy.
The paper adds to the growing body of research investigating <IR> in practice to understand the impact of <IR> and whether it is a new and useful reporting tool or just another management fashion.
The purpose of this study is to examine how social disclosures are influenced by the adoption of integrated reporting (IR), focusing on the three social capitals in the…
The purpose of this study is to examine how social disclosures are influenced by the adoption of integrated reporting (IR), focusing on the three social capitals in the international IR framework, namely, intellectual, human and social and relationship capital.
This study takes the form of a single case study involving content analyses of annual reports and integrated reports from 2009 to 2017 (i.e. before and after IR adoption in 2013), as well as in-depth, semi-structured interviews with key preparers of the integrated report at New Zealand Post, to study changes in disclosures towards different stakeholder groups, from an internal organisation perspective. The empirical evidence is analysed through the lens of stakeholder theory.
This study provides empirical evidence that contributes to our understanding of IR’s influence on the disclosure of social information and enhanced stakeholder relations in a public sector context. The study shows that the IR framework promoted a materiality assessment approach with stakeholders, which led to a reduction in social disclosures, while the materiality focus led to the disclosure of social matters more relevant to stakeholders.
IR led to meaningful stakeholder engagement, which led to social disclosure that are more relevant to stakeholders.
This study assesses the influence of IR on social disclosures. The findings will be of interest to organisations seeking to enhance stakeholder relations and/or undertake IR and/or social disclosures.
This paper examines the gap between reporting and managers’ behaviour to challenge the current theoretical underpinnings of intellectual capital (IC) disclosure practice…
This paper examines the gap between reporting and managers’ behaviour to challenge the current theoretical underpinnings of intellectual capital (IC) disclosure practice and research. The authors explore how the key features from IC and integrated reporting can be combined to develop an extended model for companies to comply with EU Directive 2014/95/EU and increase trust in corporate disclosures and reports.
This essay relies on academic literature and examples from practice to critique the theories that explain corporate disclosure and reporting but do not change management behaviour. Based on this critique, the authors argue for a change in the fundamental theories of stewardship to frame a new concept for corporate disclosure incorporating using a multi-capitals framework.
We argue that, while the inconsistency between organisations’ reporting and behaviour persists, increasing, renewing or extending the information disclosed is not enough to instil trust in corporations. Stewardship over a company’s resources is necessary for increasing trust. The unanticipated consequences of dishonest behaviour by managers and shareholders compels a new application of stewardship theory that works as an overarching guide for managerial behaviour and disclosure. Emanating from this new model is a realisation that managers must abandon agency theory in practice, and specifically the bonus contract.
We call for future empirical research to explore the role of stewardship theory within the dynamics of corporate disclosure using the approach. The research implications of those studies should incorporate the potential impacts on management behaviours within a stewardship framework and how those actions, and their outcomes, are disclosed for rebuilding public trust in business.
The implications for integrated reporting and reports complying with the new EU Directive are profound. Both instruments rely on agency theory to coax managers into reducing information asymmetry by disclosing more. However, agency theory only re-affirms the power managers have over corporate information. It does not change their behaviour, nor to act in the interest of all stakeholders as the stewards of an organisation’s resources.
We advocate that, in business education, greater emphasis is needed on how stewardship has a more positive impact on management behaviour than agency, legitimacy and stakeholder theories.
We reflect on the current and compelling issues permeating the international landscape of corporate reporting and disclosure and explain why current theories which explain corporate disclosures do not change behaviour or engender trust in business and offer an alternative disclosure model based on stewardship theory.