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Article
Publication date: 24 December 2021

Caroline M. Bridges, Julie A. Harrison and David C. Hay

The initial rationale for developing integrated reporting included addressing the failures of traditional reporting to address sustainability issues. Subsequently, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The initial rationale for developing integrated reporting included addressing the failures of traditional reporting to address sustainability issues. Subsequently, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) modified its stated objectives to emphasise integrated thinking and value creation. There has been debate on whether the IIRC’s process for developing its integrated reporting framework was subject to regulatory capture by the accounting profession (Flower, 2015; Adams, 2015; Thomson, 2015). This paper aims to provide additional evidence on the extent to which this regulatory capture occurred, with an update on current developments.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from interviews with key participants in the integrated reporting framework’s development and the IIRC’s Council and Working Group meeting minutes were analysed to identify to what extent the change in the IIRC’s focus can be explained by regulatory capture theory.

Findings

The findings show that the integrated reporting framework’s development was subject to regulatory capture by accountants. However, the extent of capture was mitigated to some extent by processes adopted in its development. This is consistent with regulatory capture theory.

Originality/value

This paper critically examines the debate on the extent to which the sustainability message has been lost as a result of regulatory capture. It provides an in-depth analysis of the IIRC’s treatment of sustainability which explores the application of regulatory capture theory and examines evidence not considered in previous studies.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2021

Ali Uyar, Merve Kilic and Cemil Kuzey

Drawing on neo-institutional, stakeholder, social contract and contingency theories, the objective of this study is to examine whether cultural values across countries may…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on neo-institutional, stakeholder, social contract and contingency theories, the objective of this study is to examine whether cultural values across countries may influence decisions to assure integrated reports.

Design/methodology/approach

For this purpose, the authors have collected integrated reporting assurance, national culture and firm-specific data from several sources for the years ranging between 2011 and 2016 and have performed pooled and panel logistic regression analyses.

Findings

The authors found that corporations established in countries where the following characteristics prevail have higher tendencies to assure integrated reports: high collectivism among people, low power distance, strong feminine values rather than masculine values, high uncertainty avoidance, pursuance of short-term goals rather than long-term and a low level of indulgence.

Research limitations/implications

The study is not free from limitations. First, the authors were only able to obtain assurance data for the years between 2011 and 2016 since 2011 was the initial year in which integrated reporting was adopted. Second, culture variables used throughout the study remained the same for each year due to the unavailability of differing data. This was noted in prior studies as well; thus, this is not an exception. Third, the assumption that all companies in a country have the same culture score is inherent in the scoring system of countries (Orij, 2010).

Practical implications

Based on the results, the authors drew implications for organizations, policymakers and assurance service providers. Multinational corporations can benefit from the outcome of this study by considering national cultures in formulating their corporate strategies. Finally, assurance service providers can position themselves in the marketplace by the findings of this study.

Originality/value

This paper aims to enhance the comprehension of corporate reporting practices by companies that operate in different countries, with necessarily varying cultural values. To the best knowledge of the authors, no prior study has yet examined the impact of national culture on the assurance of integrated reports.

Details

Management Decision, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2021

Barry Ackers and Adeyemi Adebayo

This paper aims to establish the extent to which South African state-owned entities (SOEs), where integrated reporting is a quasi-mandatory reporting requirement, have…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to establish the extent to which South African state-owned entities (SOEs), where integrated reporting is a quasi-mandatory reporting requirement, have incorporated the principles of the international integrated reporting framework. These identified South African SOE reporting practices are compared with the ‘integrated reporting’ related disclosures of SOEs in selected countries, where integrated reporting remains voluntary.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper deploys a qualitative research approach, to thematically analyse the content of publicly available annual or integrated reports of South Africa SOEs, as the primary country of analysis, with those of their counterparts in five purposively selected countries. The relative scores for the SOEs of each country is calculated using a disclosure index derived from the international integrated reporting framework principles.

Findings

The paper found that despite being a quasi-mandatory reporting requirement, not all South African SOEs complied with all the international integrated reporting framework principles. Accepting the assertion that integrated reporting enhances organisational transparency and accountability, the accountability disclosure practices of South African SOEs appear more comprehensive than their counterparts in other countries.

Originality/value

Extant research into integrated reporting has primarily focussed on the profit-seeking private sector, with limited research into its applicability in the public sector. This paper attempts to address this paucity by examining aspects of integrated reporting by South African SOEs, which are then compared to accountability reporting practices in other countries.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Article
Publication date: 28 August 2021

Guler Aras, Ozlem Kutlu Furtuna and Evrim Hacioglu Kazak

The main purpose of this paper is to evaluate to what extent a public university, named Yildiz Technical University, integrated report provides disclosure on International…

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to evaluate to what extent a public university, named Yildiz Technical University, integrated report provides disclosure on International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) content elements, suggesting the presence of integrated thinking, and whether higher education institutions’(HEIs) characteristics could affect the level of disclosure on that framework. Additionally, the purpose of this paper is to identify whether the Yildiz Technical University follows the IIRC framework and how integrated reporting can enhance the value creation for HEIs’ stakeholders in the context of voluntary reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

To conduct integrated reporting framework in HEIs specifically from a public university perspective, this paper has used a case study approach. Research data have been triangulated through interviews, questionnaires and finally, documents and archival records.

Findings

This paper gives insights into the reporting practices from a public institution, specifically from HEIs. Delivering high-quality services in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable manner is significant to public accountability and transparency. The Yildiz Technical University has been the best example in disclosing non-financial information to its stakeholders and enhancing the accountability tool.

Practical implications

This paper can be a leading practice and can be considered as an integrated reporting framework for HEIs willing to follow the same path.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to investigate the integrated reporting framework in a developing country, under HEIs and specifically for a public university.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Book part
Publication date: 28 July 2014

Tineke Lambooy, Rosemarie Hordijk and Willem Bijveld

The authors have examined the developments in law and in practice concerning integrated reporting. An integrated report combines the most material elements of information…

Abstract

Purpose

The authors have examined the developments in law and in practice concerning integrated reporting. An integrated report combines the most material elements of information about corporate performance (re: financial, governance, social and environmental functioning) – currently reported in separate reports – into one coherent whole. The authors first explore the motivation of companies and legislators to introduce integrating reporting. Next, they analyse how integrated reporting can be supported by legislation thereby taking into account the existing regulatory environment.

Methodology/approach

Literature study; desk research, analysing integrated reports; organisation of an international academic conference (30 May 2012 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands).

Findings

EU law needs adjusting in the field of corporate annual reporting. Although integrated reporting is currently being explored by some frontrunners of the business community and is being encouraged by investors, the existing legal framework does not offer any incentive, nor is uniformity and credibility in the reporting of non-financial information stimulated. The law gives scant guidance to companies to that end. The authors argue that amending the mandatory EU framework can support the comparability and reliability of the corporate information. Moreover, a clear and sound EU framework on integrated corporate reporting will assist international companies in their reporting. Presently, companies have to comply with various regulations at an EU and a national level, which do not enhance a holistic view in corporate reporting. The authors provide options on how to do this. They suggest combining EU mandatory corporate reporting rules with the private regulatory reporting regime developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Research limitations/implications

Focus on EU and Dutch corporate reporting laws, non-legislative frameworks, and corporate practices of frontrunners.

Practical and social implications and originality/value of the chapter

The chapter can provide guidance to policymakers, companies and other stakeholders who want to form an opinion on how to legally support integrated reporting. It addresses important questions, especially concerning how European and domestic legislation could be adjusted in order to (i) reflect the newest insights regarding corporate transparency and (ii) become an adequate framework for companies with added benefits for financiers and investors. Moreover, it reports on the benefits of integrated reporting for reporting companies. The authors argue that integrated reporting can be a critical tool in implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the main corporate strategy of a company.

Details

Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: Perspectives and Practice
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-796-2

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Book part
Publication date: 12 March 2020

Sergio Paternostro

There are still many different theoretical approaches and practical interpretations about what an integrated report is. Starting from this premise, the overall purpose of…

Abstract

There are still many different theoretical approaches and practical interpretations about what an integrated report is. Starting from this premise, the overall purpose of this chapter is to critically analyze the relationship between integrated reporting (IR) and social/sustainability disclosure. Indeed, although some scholars considered IR as a tool to improve the sustainability approach of the companies allowing to disclose more relevant social information, others are more critical about the potentiality of IR to improve social disclosure. Therefore, the general research question is: Is there a natural link between IR and social disclosure (true love) or is the IR a practice to “normalize” the social disclosure and accounting (forced marriage)?

In the attempt to provide a preliminary answer to the research question, the chapter analyzes what is the approach of three categories: (1) academics; (2) soft-regulators; and (3) companies. From the methodological point of view, a mixed method of analysis has been adopted.

From the analysis of the three different points of view, IR can be considered as a “contested concept” because of the heterogeneous and sometimes conflicting interpretations and implementation that are done on this type of report. This leads to relevant theoretical and practical implications.

Details

Non-Financial Disclosure and Integrated Reporting: Practices and Critical Issues
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-964-4

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Article
Publication date: 22 July 2021

Mitali Panchal Arora, Sumit Lodhia and Gerard Stone

With the increasing adoption of integrated reporting and the subsequent interest of the accounting discipline in its development, this paper aims to examine the enablers…

Abstract

Purpose

With the increasing adoption of integrated reporting and the subsequent interest of the accounting discipline in its development, this paper aims to examine the enablers and barriers to the involvement of accountants in integrated reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper adopts a case study approach by collecting interview data from six organisations that have adopted integrated reporting internationally. In the selected organisations, face-to-face and telephone interviews were conducted with professionals who are involved in the preparation of an integrated report. The interviewees in this study included key integrated report preparers including accountants, corporate reporting managers, sustainability managers and other report preparers. Institutional entrepreneurship provided the theoretical insights for this study.

Findings

The study found that accountants’ expertise in corporate reporting and especially their knowledge of the assurance process was one of the major reasons why they were involved in integrated reporting. Accountants’ in-depth understanding of an organisation in addition to their general analytical and interpersonal skills were also found to be useful in preparing an integrated report. However, the voluntary nature of integrated reporting along with the lack of sufficient guidelines deterred accountants from being involved in integrated reporting. The study also found that accountants themselves did not see value in integrated reporting and found it challenging to convert numerical information to narratives, thus limiting their involvement in integrated reporting.

Research limitations/implications

Whilst prior studies have underlined accountants’ institutionalised practices, this study uncovers the strategies applied by accountants to maintain their institutionalised practices. The specific application of the institutional entrepreneurship concept identifies mechanisms and strategies through which accountants restrict their practices to narrow taken-for-granted roles.

Practical implications

This study uncovers practical implications by highlighting the factors that limit the involvement of accountants within integrated reporting. One of the major implications identified relates to the training of accountants to apply their existing skills and expertise in non-financial reporting to contribute effectively to multi-disciplinary teams that contribute towards integrated reporting in organisations. This study also provides an impetus for the International Integrated Reporting Council to provide more guidance for preparing an integrated report.

Originality/value

This is one of the initial studies that has explored the enablers and barriers to the involvement of accountants in integrated reporting through its focus on organisations that are already practising this form of reporting. The use of institutional entrepreneurship theory adds to the theoretical insights for exploring the involvement of the various actors in integrated reporting.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Mandatory and Discretional Non-financial Disclosure after the European Directive 2014/95/EU
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-504-0

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Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Abir Hichri

This paper aims to draw on the agency theory to examine the relationship between corporate governance and integrated reporting on a sample of 120 listed French companies…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to draw on the agency theory to examine the relationship between corporate governance and integrated reporting on a sample of 120 listed French companies making up the SBF 120 Index during the period 2016–2019.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology adopted in the present study consists of the hypothetico-deductive approach. Thus, as part of this quantitative approach, the authors aim at investigating the hypotheses concerning the impact of corporate governance mechanisms on integrated reporting. Moreover, the applied data are analyzed using the multiple linear regressions.

Findings

The finding of this study is that the cognitive diversity and audit committees have a positive and significant effect on integrated reporting. However, the chief executive officer’s duality and the board’s size have a positive and non-significant effect on integrated reporting.

Originality/value

In fact, this study contributes to the literature on the practices of integrated reporting. Faced with the rarity of studies linking the corporate governance mechanisms and the integrated reporting, this study makes a huge contribution to the determinants of integrated reporting.

Details

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

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Book part
Publication date: 28 June 2016

Belverd E. Needles, Mark L. Frigo, Marian Powers and Anton Shigaev

Prior research shows that companies that achieve high performance excel at certain financial objectives. This chapter addresses the question: Do companies that excel at…

Abstract

Purpose

Prior research shows that companies that achieve high performance excel at certain financial objectives. This chapter addresses the question: Do companies that excel at these financial performance objectives also excel in integrated reporting and sustainability reporting?

Methodology/approach

We compare a sample of high performance companies (HPC) with a sample of companies that purport to support integrated reporting, and a sample that purport to support sustainability reporting. Our hypotheses are that HPC will equal or exceed the integrated reporting and sustainability reporting practices shown by International Integrated Reporting Committee (IIRC) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) companies and US companies will be less at these practices than non-US companies.

Findings

Our findings indicate that IIRC companies and GRI companies generally do not meet the high financial performance measures of the HPC. Based on an integrated reporting and sustainability reporting matrix, we show that HPC exhibit equal performance on the practices of sustainability and integrated reporting compared to GRI companies, but both HPC and GRI are lower on these practices than IIRC companies. Also, US companies disclose less information in sustainability reports and integrated reports as compared to non-US companies. Overall, all three groups fall short of full compliance with standards of integrated reporting and sustainability reporting.

Originality/value

This chapter provides evidence as to the financial performance and the current state of integrated reporting and sustainability reporting among HPC, GRI, and IIRC companies. This chapter highlights the global need for a generally accepted set of standards for sustainability and integrated reporting practices.

Details

Performance Measurement and Management Control: Contemporary Issues
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-915-2

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