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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2021

Fiona Robertson

This paper aims to investigate social influences on the UK integrated reporting (<IR>) adoption and implementation.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate social influences on the UK integrated reporting (<IR>) adoption and implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 36 senior executives actively involved in <IR> within 17 organisations.

Findings

Main social influences on adoption externally were reported design consultants and to a lesser extent, external auditors, primarily to legitimise <IR>. Internal influences were board support for <IR>, with the main driver being the mind-set of the CFO/Chairman to drive sustainability throughout the organisation or to regain trust in society. Social influences aiding further diffusion at the implementation stage came from three external sources: business networks; report design consultants; and external auditors. Internal influences in driving <IR> diffusion within organisations were identified in five functional areas, with finance, sustainability and communications functions exerting the greatest external influence on the diffusion of <IR>.

Research limitations/implications

This research study was limited by the small sample of organisations that participated, although significant efforts were made to ensure that the sample incorporated the majority of early adopter UK organisations who demonstrated best practice in <IR>. Therefore, the findings are specific to the research context and do not represent statistical generalisations.

Practical implications

Empirical evidence identifying social influences from a practitioner perspective provides recommendations as to how <IR> may be further diffused in the future.

Social implications

<IR> creates the potential to significantly improve the long-term health of corporations and the external environment they impact through consideration of the three indivisible and integrated dimensions of sustainable development, the economy, society and the environment and can contribute to a sustainable society by providing the opportunity for organisations to respond to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. This highlights the significance of the research, which aims to gain insights into <IR> social influences which can assist in the adoption and implementation of <IR>.

Originality/value

This is the first comprehensive study of social influences on the <IR> adoption and implementation practices in the UK. It incorporates recommendations to improve the likelihood of subsequent adoption and diffusion of <IR> based on the findings.

Details

Journal of Global Responsibility, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2041-2568

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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2020

Fiona Ann Robertson and Martin Samy

The purpose of this paper is to investigate rationales for integrated reporting (<IR>) adoption and factors that impact on the extent of adoption in the UK early adopter…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate rationales for integrated reporting (<IR>) adoption and factors that impact on the extent of adoption in the UK early adopter organisations. Diffusion of innovation theory was used as a guiding theoretical lens

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 36 senior executives actively involved in IR in finance, sustainability, communications and legal functions within seventeen organisations. A content analysis of the interviews was undertaken using qualitative coding techniques within Nvivo 11 software.

Findings

Organisations drew on a wide range of rationales for adoption, with a predominance of sociological over economic rationales, both of which offered organisations a relative advantage over existing practices. Economically, <IR> emerged as an incremental process, which filled a performance gap is predominantly manufacturing and utility industries with significant impacts on the environment/society. Predominant sociological rationales were: external pressures, primarily due to perceptions of shifts in societal expectations; and internal aspirations relating to enhancing reputation. Findings also revealed that the <IR> framework was not fully adopted by the majority of organisations, primarily due to incompatibility with organisational requirements and/or perceived complexity of the framework.

Research limitations/implications

This research study was limited by the small sample of organisations that participated, although significant efforts were made to ensure that the sample incorporated the majority of early adopter UK organisations who demonstrated best practice in <IR>.

Practical implications

Recommendations on how the adoption of <IR> may be further enhanced in the future are outlined.

Social implications

Research that provides recommendations to inform policy and practice regarding how <IR> could be more widely adopted, and its practices further diffused, within organisations is important given <IR> has the potential to contribute to societal and environmental well-being.

Originality/value

This study is significant as research into <IR> adoption decision motivations and subsequent extent of adoption is scant, particularly in the UK. It responds to the call by Dumay et al. (2016) for <IR> researchers to engage more with practice. It further enriches prior research on the adoption of management innovations where an extensive body of innovation literature has focussed on the rationale for organisational adoption of management innovations but has neglected the subsequent extent of adoption.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Book part
Publication date: 25 March 2021

Fiona Robertson

Purpose: This paper aims to understand the relevance of the concept of integrated reporting (<IR>) to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).Methodology/approach: The…

Abstract

Purpose: This paper aims to understand the relevance of the concept of integrated reporting (<IR>) to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Methodology/approach: The literature reviewed is from a wide range of reputable business reports, government or governmental bodies as well as academic journal papers.

Findings: The review has provided evidence of the relevance of <IR> to SMEs and highlights the advantages as well as difficulties relating to adoption. Further, although evidence suggested that over 40% of <IR> adopters globally are SMEs, current research on <IR> in SMEs is scant.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): This literature review has highlighted a need to investigate <IR> and SMEs more widely across more European countries across a wider range and number of SMEs to gain a wider understanding of <IR> and SMEs in a European context.

Practical implications (if applicable): Research that highlights the increasing relevance and advantages of <IR> for SMEs could stimulate further adoption by SMEs.

Social implications: While the individual impact of SMEs on global societal and environmental issues is small, their collective impact is believed to be considerable. <IR> creates the potential to significantly improve the long-term health of corporations and the external environment they impact through consideration of the three indivisible and integrated dimensions of sustainable development: the economy, the society and the environment.

Originality/value of paper: To the author's knowledge, this is the first literature review in this field, thus providing an overview of the issue, which can inform future research.

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Book part
Publication date: 25 March 2021

Nuha Ceesay, Moade Shubita and Fiona Robertson

Purpose: The purpose of this chapter is to establish the sustainability reporting practices of FTSE 100 companies using integrated reporting (IR), corporate social…

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this chapter is to establish the sustainability reporting practices of FTSE 100 companies using integrated reporting (IR), corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate governance (CG) as proxies. Our study has adopted a holistic approach by combining dimensions of each factor in one variable.

Design/Methodological Approach: The study data cover all FTSE 100 companies over five years, thereby generating 505 company-year observations for each variable of the study. Authors have collected the data from Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reports filed with Thomson Reuters and International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC).

Findings: Results indicate the practice of sustainability reporting in FTSE 100 companies both per variables and dimensions levels. It shows, for example, 89% of the companies reported on their charitable donations. The study also found that 79% of the FTSE 100 companies reported on their sustainability committees whilst 86% and 85% reported on their emission reduction and waste reduction policies, respectively. Results show that the CSR impact is higher than CG regarding IR adoption. The Logistic Model manages to explain a high percentage of IR adoption while controlling for other misspecification issues such as multicollinearity.

Practical Implication: The study highlights practice of substantiality reporting for public shareholding companies listed on FTSE 100 Index along with interaction among proxies. These will be of interest to companies not only in the FTSE 100 Index but also those outside. Companies can rely on these factors to strengthen their governance, social responsibility and reporting policies in consideration of all stakeholders and not just a few. We believe that we shed a quantitative explanation on IR adoption by CSR and CG factors, and we expect an impact on practices following results of our study.

Social Implication: Results have indicated that at least 60% of companies in the FTSE 100 Index have imbedded social responsibility activities, such as charitable giving, waste reduction initiatives, emissions reduction policy and sustainability committees.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2003

Clare Aitken, Mohammed Alom, Ann‐Emily Brew, Steve Davis, William Forrester, James Hickey, Cheryl Lines, Sonia Martinez‐Roura, Sonia Martinez‐Roura, Clare O’Brien, Fiona Robertson, Jane Rowlands, Sandra Santana‐Feio and Susanne Staal

The paper describes the development of an electronic document delivery service for the professional association of doctors, the BMA. Workflow, including integration with…

Abstract

The paper describes the development of an electronic document delivery service for the professional association of doctors, the BMA. Workflow, including integration with searching services is described. Scanning hardware choices are reviewed; as are staff development needs. Copyright issues were also a major issue. Today, 60 per cent of document delivery is electronic.

Details

VINE, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-5728

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2014

J. Greg Matthews

Abstract

Details

Reference Reviews, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0950-4125

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Fiona Ann Robertson and Martin Samy

This study seeks to investigate the likely adoption of integrated reporting (IR), in addition to highlighting the limitations of current reporting practices. In…

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to investigate the likely adoption of integrated reporting (IR), in addition to highlighting the limitations of current reporting practices. In particular, the analysis in this study used the characteristics of diffusion of innovation theory to investigate how perceptions of IR as offering a relative advantage over existing practices; its compatibility to existing organisational values, past experiences and needs; and its perceived complexity impacted on the adoption and diffusion of IR.

Design/methodology/approach

Methodology was based on a content analysis of 22 UK FTSE 100 annual and sustainability reports across industries. To build a phenomenological triangulation research approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten senior managers to ascertain their perceptions of current SR practices and IR.

Findings

The analysis in this study revealed that low/medium levels of linkages exist between the majority of reports in the sample, thus limiting their usefulness. Based on these findings, this study suggests that senior managers perceive IR as having a relative advantage over existing practice. Overall, the senior managers interviewed were supportive of IR and this research revealed that many companies are starting to integrate their reporting along IR guidelines. This study further identifies factors that are likely to impact on more widespread diffusion of IR.

Research limitations/implications

The sample size to assess linkages between reports was based on a sample of company reports across industries to give a balanced view of reporting practices. This could be viewed as a limitation as it was not a representative sample of the population as a whole. Another limitation of this research study was the small sample of organisations that participated in the interview process, and the single country focus.

Practical implications

This study has identified several factors that were likely to impact on wider spread diffusion of IR, which should be of interest to practitioners in this field as well as those considering the adoption of IR.

Originality/value

As an emerging phenomenon, there are few empirical studies exploring IR practices and perceptions. To the best of the authors' knowledge, this is the first paper that provides some insights into IR from a UK perspective.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 25 March 2021

Martina Topić and George Lodorfos

Purpose: The purpose of the chapter is to provide an overview of sustainability debates and a rationale for the book.Method: A literature review was conducted prior to…

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of the chapter is to provide an overview of sustainability debates and a rationale for the book.

Method: A literature review was conducted prior to starting this book project, and this literature review is analysed and situated within a debate the book fosters.

Originality/Value: The paper outlines debate in the field of sustainability and provide a rationale for the book focusing on human sustainability, thus contributing towards extending knowledge on the sustainability concept and debates.

Details

The Sustainability Debate
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-779-1

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 25 March 2021

Abstract

Details

The Sustainability Debate
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-779-1

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Tony Chalcraft

Abstract

Details

Reference Reviews, vol. 31 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0950-4125

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