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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2019

Marco Bellucci, Lorenzo Simoni, Diletta Acuti and Giacomo Manetti

The purpose of this paper is to explain how sustainability reporting and stakeholder engagement processes serve as vehicles of dialogic accounting (DA), a form of critical…

2556

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain how sustainability reporting and stakeholder engagement processes serve as vehicles of dialogic accounting (DA), a form of critical accounting that creates opportunities for stakeholders to express their opinions, and the influence of dialogic interactions on the content of sustainability reports.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis is used to investigate reports published by 299 companies that have adopted Global Reporting Initiative guidelines. This paper studies how organizations engage stakeholders, the categories of stakeholders that are being addressed, the methods used to support stakeholder engagement, and other features of the stakeholder engagement process. Companies that disclose stakeholder perceptions, the difficulties met in engaging stakeholders, and actions aimed at creating opportunities for different groups of stakeholders to interact were subjects of discussion in a series of semi-structured interviews that focus on DA.

Findings

Companies often commit themselves to two-way dialogue with their stakeholders, but fully developed frameworks for DA are rare. However, signs of DA emerged in the analysis, thus confirming that sustainability reporting can become a platform for DA systems if stakeholder engagement is effective.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the accounting literature by discussing if and how sustainability reporting and stakeholder engagement can serve as vehicles of DA. This is accomplished via a research design that is based on in-depth interviews and content analysis of various sustainability reports.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 32 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 27 September 2021

Giacomo Manetti, Marco Bellucci and Stefania Oliva

This article aims to contribute to the critical accounting literature by reviewing how previous studies have addressed the topic of dialogic accounting (DA), examining the…

2229

Abstract

Purpose

This article aims to contribute to the critical accounting literature by reviewing how previous studies have addressed the topic of dialogic accounting (DA), examining the main themes investigated and discussing potential further developments of the DA research agenda.

Design/methodology/approach

The present study builds on a systematic literature review of 186 research products indexed on Scopus, Web of Science and Google Scholar that were published between 2004 and 2019 in 55 accounting or non-accounting scientific journals and 14 books.

Findings

First, a content analysis of each contribution informs a classification in terms of research design, methodology, geographical setting and sector of analysis. Second, a bibliometric analysis provides several visual representations of the network of research products included in our review using bibliographic coupling, cooccurrence and coauthorship analyses. Third, and most importantly, the main narrative review discusses the development of the research strand on DA from the seminal works that introduced the topic, through the core of critical contributions inspired by the struggle between democracy and agonism, to the most recent contributions, in which new topics emerge and innovative methodologies are applied to the study of DA.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this manuscript is twofold. In addition to providing a systematic, bibliometric and narrative review of the evolution of nearly two decades of literature on DA, the present study is intended to collect ideas for further research and to discuss how the advent of new technologies and the peculiarities of various institutional contexts can shape the future research agenda on this critical form of accounting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 May 2017

Marco Bellucci and Giacomo Manetti

The purpose of this paper is to explore the utilization of the social network, Facebook, as an instrument of stakeholder engagement and dialogic accounting in American…

2099

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the utilization of the social network, Facebook, as an instrument of stakeholder engagement and dialogic accounting in American charitable foundations, specifically non-profit organizations that are dedicated to philanthropy.

Design/methodology/approach

The research motivation involves whether online interaction through Facebook could represent a channel of dialogic accounting that engages organizational stakeholders. This paper aims to understand if this dialogue is geared to generate a consensus necessary to deliberate over decisions that are shared between all stakeholders, or if a divergent and agonistic perspective, which highlights struggles and differences between actors, prevails. The present study employs a form of content analysis that takes into account the Facebook pages of the 100 largest American philanthropic foundations.

Findings

The primary goal of the analysis is to examine the discrepancies in terms of how (and how much) large organizations are using Facebook. The study wants to provide more details on which kind of information large organizations are willing to disclose and collect on Facebook, and to evaluate the level and type of interaction between foundations and users.

Research limitations/implications

Further research could build on the present study by providing in-depth case studies and extending the analysis to other social media and other types of organizations.

Originality/value

Social media represent a powerful mechanism to engage stakeholders in a polylogic conversation. However, the scholarly literature confirms that further studies are necessary to understand how companies and organization can exploit this potential.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Marco Bellucci, Diletta Acuti, Lorenzo Simoni and Giacomo Manetti

This study aims to investigate how stakeholders perceive the company's nonfinancial disclosure after a scandal has occurred. More specifically, the authors examine whether…

1506

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate how stakeholders perceive the company's nonfinancial disclosure after a scandal has occurred. More specifically, the authors examine whether and how sustainability reporting practices in the aftermath of a scandal can influence the perceptions of stakeholders in terms of hypocrisy and legitimacy.

Design/methodology/approach

The present research represents a companion paper to another study in this issue that investigates the adaptation of companies' reporting behaviors after a scandal. The results of the initial qualitative study informed the subsequent quantitative study developed in this article. The authors build on the evidence of the main paper and perform a 2 × 2 between-subjects experiment to examine how stakeholders perceive the actions of companies that aim to restore their eroded legitimacy through social, environmental and sustainability (SES) reporting.

Findings

The results suggest that when companies take responsibility and develop remedial, socially responsible corporate activities are perceived as less hypocritical and more legitimate. Moreover, we show an interaction effect between taking responsibility and developing remedial socially responsible actions on hypocrisy and legitimacy perception.

Originality/value

The present research takes advantage of an experimental design to investigate the effects of the adaptation of SES reporting from the perspective of stakeholders. The study provides insightful theoretical and practical implications for managers regarding how to handle a reputational loss and avoid perceptions of hypocrisy.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 23 July 2021

Marco Bellucci, Diletta Acuti, Lorenzo Simoni and Giacomo Manetti

This study contributes to the literature on hypocrisy in corporate social responsibility by investigating how organizations adapt their nonfinancial disclosure after a…

1600

Abstract

Purpose

This study contributes to the literature on hypocrisy in corporate social responsibility by investigating how organizations adapt their nonfinancial disclosure after a social, environmental or governance scandal.

Design/methodology/approach

The present research employs content analysis of nonfinancial disclosures by 11 organizations during a 3-year timespan to investigate how they responded to major scandals in terms of social, environmental and sustainability reporting and a content analysis of independent counter accounts to detect the presence of views that contrast with the corporate disclosure and suggest hypocritical behaviors.

Findings

Four patterns in the adaptation of reporting – genuine, allusive, evasive, indifferent – emerge from information collected on scandals and socially responsible actions. The type of scandal and cultural factors can influence the response to a scandal, as environmental and social scandal can attract more scrutiny than financial scandals. Companies exposed to environmental and social scandals are more likely to disclose information about the scandal and receive more coverage by external parties in the form of counter accounts.

Originality/value

Using a theoretical framework based on legitimacy theory and organizational hypocrisy, the present research contributes to the investigation of the adaptation of reporting when a scandal occurs and during its aftermath.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 28 March 2022

Marco Bellucci, Damiano Cesa Bianchi and Giacomo Manetti

This study aims to review the academic literature on the utilization of blockchain in accounting practice and research to identify potential opportunities for further…

3408

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to review the academic literature on the utilization of blockchain in accounting practice and research to identify potential opportunities for further scientific investigation and to provide a framework for how accounting practices are impacted by blockchain.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on a systematic literature review (SLR) of 346 research products available on Scopus, which were mapped with bibliometric analyses and critically discussed in relation to three main topics: the impact of blockchain on accounting and auditing, cryptoassets and finance, business models and supply chain management.

Findings

Blockchain has many potential implications for accounting practice and research. In addition to providing the state-of-the-art of accounting research on blockchain and additional avenues for further studies, this study discusses why practitioners are interested in this technology: triple-entry bookkeeping, the inalterability of transactions, the automation of repetitive tasks that do not require discretionary choices, the representation of cryptocurrencies in financial statements, value-chain management, social and environmental auditing and reporting and business model innovation.

Originality/value

The novel contribution of this study is integrated and threefold. First, this SLR provides a clear picture of the state of the accounting research on blockchain using bibliographic and narrative analyses. Second, it investigates how accounting and auditing practices are impacted by blockchain. Third, it contributes to the accounting literature with its discussion of the potential future research trends related to blockchain for accounting.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Giacomo Manetti and Marco Bellucci

The purpose of this paper is to assess if online interaction through social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, represents an effective stakeholder…

7307

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess if online interaction through social media, particularly Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, represents an effective stakeholder engagement mechanism in order to define the contents of social, environmental, or sustainability reporting (SESR).

Design/methodology/approach

After examining 332 worldwide sustainability reports for the year 2013, drawn up according to the guidelines provided by the Global Reporting Initiative, the authors conducted a content analysis on the Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube pages of the organisations who rely on these types of social media. This was done in order to assess the scope of interaction between the organisation and its stakeholders.

Findings

The authors found that a small number of organisations use social media to engage stakeholders as a means of defining the contents of SESR, and that the level of interaction is generally low. Rather than assuming a deliberative approach that is aimed at forging a democratic consensus on how to address specific corporate social responsibility or SESR issues, these types of interaction focus on gathering divergent socio-political views in an agonistic perspective.

Research limitations/implications

Further research could complement this exploratory research with statistical analyses. It could focus on how comments/replies by users are used by organisations and examine the impacts of SESR on companies’ performances.

Originality/value

The authors contribute to the literature on social accounting by understanding whether social media can be reliable instruments of stakeholder engagement and by examining the relevance of information that is voluntarily disclosed by corporations in SESR.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 April 2014

Linda Thorne, Lois S. Mahoney and Giacomo Manetti

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the companies’ motivations to issue or not issue voluntary standalone corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports in…

6409

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide insight into the companies’ motivations to issue or not issue voluntary standalone corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports in the Canadian context.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors realized a questionnaire survey that asked Canadian companies why they do or do not issue standalone CSR reports, what their motivations and costs are, and the extent to which they comply with GRI guidelines.

Findings

The results show that larger firms issue standalone CSR reports. As larger firms have more political visibility and are subject to greater external scrutiny than smaller firms (Watts and Zimmerman, 1986), the findings indicate that firms primarily issue standalone CSR reports in response to external scrutiny by stakeholders, which is consistent with a stakeholder perspective. The survey also identifies that ancillary motivations for Canadian firms for issuing standalone CSR reports are consistent with legitimacy and signalling perspectives.

Research limitations/implications

The authors acknowledge that the generalizability of the findings is limited due to the sample being situated within a single national context. The inferences drawn from such a sample in Canada may not be applicable to other countries with different national institutional contexts. In addition, the small size of the sample may limit the generalizability of the findings. The authors also did not specifically consider the quality of the CSR reports in the study. Finally, the work may be affected by the inherent weaknesses associated with survey research, including the inherent bias of the individuals responding to the survey.

Originality/value

The research adds to the growing body of research on voluntary CSR disclosures, with particular reference to the Canadian context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 August 2021

Kwame Oduro Amoako, Isaac Oduro Amoako, James Tuffour and Emmanuel Opoku Marfo

Using a subsidiary of a multinational mining company in Ghana as a case, the purpose of this study is to examine the formal and informal forms and channels of…

Abstract

Purpose

Using a subsidiary of a multinational mining company in Ghana as a case, the purpose of this study is to examine the formal and informal forms and channels of sustainability reporting in the emerging economy’s context.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted amongst managers and employees of the mining company and members of their host community. Based on the interview themes, archival data were extracted from the 2020 Integrated Annual Report of the case company to corroborate the results from the interviews.

Findings

The authors found that most of the stakeholders from the host community interviewed were not aware and, to an extent, not interested in formal sustainability reports. In place of that, the management of the mining subsidiary uses informal channels of communication, including meetings and durbars, to verbally engage the local community and their representatives on sustainability matters. Whilst the formal sustainability reports met the internal requirements set by the parent company, the informal engagements were critical for gaining external legitimacy from the host community and other interest groups. Hence, the authors argue that mining companies and their subsidiaries, particularly in developing economies, need to consider informal forms of sustainability reporting alongside the formal channels to engage local communities to address sustainability issues and avert disruptions to their operations.

Originality/value

Sustainability reporting studies have focussed mainly on annual reports published in print or corporate websites, ignoring informal forms of sustainability reporting. This study sheds light on the informal forms of sustainability reporting. This is important as formal forms of sustainability reporting may be less useful for engaging local mining communities in developing economy contexts.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 December 2021

Olayinka Erin, Alex Adegboye and Omololu Adex Bamigboye

This study aims to examine the association between corporate governance and sustainability reporting quality of listed firms in Nigeria.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the association between corporate governance and sustainability reporting quality of listed firms in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors measure corporate governance using board governance variables (board size, board independence, board gender diversity and board expertise) and audit committee attributes (audit committee size, audit expertise and audit meeting). The authors measured sustainability reporting quality using a scoring system, which ranges between 0 and 4. The highest score is achieved when sustainability reporting is independently assured by an audit firm. The lowest score refers to the absence of sustainability reporting. The study emphasizes 120 listed firms on Nigeria Stock Exchange using the ordered logistic regression technique.

Findings

The results indicate that board governance variables (board size, board gender diversity and board expertise) and audit committee attributes (audit committee size, audit expertise and audit meeting) are significantly associated with sustainability reporting quality. Additional analysis reveals that external assurance contributes to the quality of sustainability reporting through corporate governance characteristics.

Research limitations/implications

This study is restricted to a single country. Future studies should consider a cross-country study, which may help to establish a comparative analysis. Likewise, the future study could consider other regression techniques using a continuous measurement of the global reporting initiative in measuring sustainability reporting quality.

Practical implications

This study’s findings have important implications for policymakers and practitioners, especially the corporate executives and top management. Companies are encouraged to restructure their board to enhance better monitoring and support towards better sustainability reporting.

Social implications

Disclosure on sustainability reporting helps corporate organizations advance the issues of sustainability both nationally and globally.

Originality/value

This current study adds to accounting literature by examining how corporate governance contributes to sustainability reporting practices within the Nigerian context. Drawing from the result, the study provides strong interconnectivity between the corporate board and audit committee in driving sustainability reporting quality within an organizational context.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 13 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

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