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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2018

Zihan Liu, Christine Jubb and Subhash Abhayawansa

The integrated reports published by companies vary significantly in quality in spite of them claiming to be compliant with the integrated reporting (IR) Framework issued…

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Abstract

Purpose

The integrated reports published by companies vary significantly in quality in spite of them claiming to be compliant with the integrated reporting (IR) Framework issued by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC). The purpose of this paper is to develop and apply a normative benchmark against which compliance with the IR Framework, and the extent to which integrated reports make visible how organisations create value, can be evaluated.

Design/methodology/approach

The three pillars of the IR Framework – Capitals, Content Elements and the Guiding Principles – are operationalised by the way of a set of disclosure items that capture the extent to which they manifest within integrated reports. The created disclosure index is applied to analyse reports of five companies that are expected to be superior integrated reporters.

Findings

The normative benchmark that was created to operationalise the IR Framework identifies a vast amount of potentially communicable information and various degrees to which information may be disclosed. The integrated reports analysed differ significantly in the extent to which value-creation stories are made visible, despite some of the companies promoting to have actively engaged with IR as participants of the IIRC Pilot Program Business Network. All selected companies performed poorly in comparison to the normative benchmark.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to provide a comprehensive normative benchmark for analysing and evaluating compliance with the IR Framework and the extent to which integrated reports make visible how organisations create value.

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

Keywords

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. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Roger Simnett and Anna Louise Huggins

This paper aims to provide insights into salient issues in the development of the Integrated Reporting (<IR>) Framework, and emerging issues in the implementation of this…

5606

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide insights into salient issues in the development of the Integrated Reporting (<IR>) Framework, and emerging issues in the implementation of this Framework, with the aim of identifying opportunities for future research. The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) has recently produced a reporting framework for the preparation of a concise, user-oriented corporate report which expands the scope of a company’s reporting using a multiple capitals concept and requires a description of a company’s business model, allowing a better communication of its value creation proposition. To gain international acceptance, the market-based benefits of adopting the framework must be demonstrated.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of an archival analysis of the responses to the IIRC’s public consultation phases, providing insights into arguments for and against salient aspects of the framework, and identifying issues that would benefit from future research.

Findings

Identifying issues that arose during the framework preparation, this paper identifies a range of future research opportunities and outlines the research approaches by which academics can assess the costs and benefits of companies reporting in accordance with the <IR> Framework and assuring this information.

Research limitations/implications

Research opportunities associated with the International <IR>) Framework and associated assurance are identified.

Practical implications

This paper provides insights and details of the process of adoption of <IR> and has implications for adopters and assurance providers of integrated reports, standard setters and regulators. The development of a sophisticated business case informed by rigorous research will be critical to the further uptake of <IR>.

Social implications

Research opportunities identified include the expansion of the <IR> Framework to reporting entities other than corporations, including government and not-for-profit organisations, as well as measurement and assurance of a broader array of capitals, including social capital.

Originality/value

The paper identifies <IR> research opportunities from an archival analysis of the responses to the IIRC’s public consultation phases, providing insights into arguments for and against salient aspects of the framework that would benefit from future research.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 June 2018

Merve Kılıç and Cemil Kuzey

This paper aims to investigate the adherence level of current company reports to the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) integrated reporting framework

2743

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the adherence level of current company reports to the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) integrated reporting framework through analysis of whether and to what extent those reports include the content elements of this framework. This study also aims to examine the impact of corporate sustainability characteristics on the adherence level of current company reports to the integrated reporting framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample for this research comprises the non-financial companies which were listed on Borsa Istanbul, the Turkish stock exchange, as of 31 December 2015. The authors constructed a disclosure index based on the content elements of the IIRC reporting framework. They then measured the integrated reporting disclosure score (IRS) of each company through a manual content analysis of its annual reports and stand-alone sustainability reports. To test the hypotheses, the authors performed a number of statistical analyses.

Findings

The authors determined that current company reports mainly present generic risks rather than company-specific; provide positive information while dismissing negative information; present financial and non-financial initiatives separately; lack a strategic focus; and include backward-looking information rather than forward-looking information. Consistent with the predictions, the authors found that the IRS is significantly and positively associated with sustainability reporting, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) adoption, sustainability index listing and the presence of a sustainability committee.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the literature by enhancing the understanding of integrated reporting practices through the application of a checklist based upon the IIRC integrated reporting framework. Further, this study contributes to the literature by evaluating the impact of corporate sustainability characteristics on IRS.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 March 2015

Marek Reuter and Martin Messner

The purpose of this paper is to examine formal participation in the early phase of the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC’s) standard-setting. The…

4697

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine formal participation in the early phase of the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC’s) standard-setting. The objective of the paper is to shed light on the characteristics of lobbying parties and the determinants of their lobbying behavior toward the IIRC. Additionally, the most important points of contestation regarding the IIRC’s initial proposal for integrated reporting are identified and discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyze comment letters issued toward the IIRC’s 2011 discussion paper on the basis of a content analysis. The analysis is guided mainly by Sutton’s (1984) rational-choice model of lobbying and by findings from extant financial accounting lobbying research. The analysis of the data is both quantitative and qualitative.

Findings

The paper improves the understanding of the political nature of standard-setting in the context of integrated reporting. Among other things, the authors find that comment letters toward the IIRC’s discussion paper are mainly written by large multinational firms (as opposed to small- and medium-sized ones) and by preparers (as opposed to users). The authors also observe active lobbying by sustainability service firms and professional bodies which tend to take a critical position vis-à-vis the discussion paper’s emphasis on investor needs and shareholder value creation. Moreover, the qualitative analysis reveals that respondents voice different concerns regarding, for instance, the scope of audience of integrated reporting, issues of materiality and the relationship between integrated reporting and other existing reporting frameworks.

Research limitations/implications

The analysis is limited to a consideration of the 2011 discussion paper of the IIRC. The IIRC’s more recent and forthcoming proposals will likely provide a basis to extend the paper’s findings and allow investigation of the role of lobbying for the further development of the framework.

Originality/value

The paper is, to the best of the knowledge, the first one to explore lobbying behavior by means of comment letters in the context of integrated reporting.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 May 2022

Charl de Villiers, Pei-Chi Kelly Hsiao, Stefano Zambon and Elisabetta Magnaghi

This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework for extended external reporting (EER) influences (EERI), including sustainability, non-financial, integrated and value…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework for extended external reporting (EER) influences (EERI), including sustainability, non-financial, integrated and value reporting. Using the Environmental Legitimacy, Accountability, and Proactivity (ELAP) framework as the base, we modify its proposed concepts and linkages using relevant conceptual models, prior reviews and findings of recent studies on EER. This paper presents contributions of the special issue on “non-financial and integrated reporting, governance and value creation” and avenues for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on relevant conceptual models, prior reviews and recent EER studies, we reframed the ELAP framework into a framework that theorises the factors that affects, or are affected by, EER.

Findings

The EERI framework poses relationships between and within proactivity, external verification, accountability and legitimacy. It also consolidates possible determinants and consequences of EER. The papers published in this special issue contribute further insights on factors that influence reporting practices, processes and suggestions for capturing and communicating value creation information, and the value of integrated reports and assurance to capital providers.

Originality/value

Along with the insights provided by papers in this special issue, the conceptual framework can be used to theorise influences of EER and guide future research.

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 July 2021

Barry Ackers and Susanna Elizabeth Grobbelaar

Despite initially being lauded as a revolutionary approach for companies to account to all stakeholders, the shareholder orientation of the international integrated

Abstract

Purpose

Despite initially being lauded as a revolutionary approach for companies to account to all stakeholders, the shareholder orientation of the international integrated reporting (<IR>) framework gave rise to questions about whether integrated reports would still sufficiently disclose pertinent corporate social responsibility (CSR) information. This paper aims to investigate the extent to which the <IR> framework has impacted the CSR disclosures contained in integrated reports of South African mining companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The study deployed a mixed methods research approach, involving thematic content analysis of the CSR disclosures contained in the integrated reports of mining companies with primary listings on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The resultant qualitative data were subsequently analysed using a T-test of difference.

Findings

The study observes that the release of the <IR> framework appears to have had a limited impact on the CSR disclosures in the integrated reports of most companies included in the study. However, where significant differences were identified, the CSR disclosures of some companies were positively impacted after the release of the <IR> framework, whilst others were negatively impacted.

Research limitations/implications

As South Africa is acknowledged as a leader in the global <IR> movement, the paper’s observations have global relevance and suggest that the fundamental principles of <IR> should be reconsidered to improve the alignment with stakeholders’ information needs, as originally conceived.

Originality/value

Despite the shareholder orientation of the <IR> framework, the global mining industry is acknowledged as being at the forefront of implementing CSR interventions to mitigate the adverse impacts of their operations on stakeholders, supporting a stakeholder orientation. As the adoption of <IR> continues to gain traction around the world, this paper’s contribution is that it represents one of the few papers to use the global reporting initiative G4 indicators to specifically examine the impact of <IR> framework on the CSR disclosures on the South African mining industry, where both <IR> and CSR reporting are quasi-mandatory disclosure requirements.

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. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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