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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

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: 28 July 2020

Lucia Biondi, John Dumay and David Monciardini

Motivated by claims that the International Integrated Reporting Framework (IRF) can be used to comply with Directive 2014/95/EU (the EU Directive) on non-financial and…

1067

Abstract

Purpose

Motivated by claims that the International Integrated Reporting Framework (IRF) can be used to comply with Directive 2014/95/EU (the EU Directive) on non-financial and diversity disclosure, the purpose of this study is to examine whether companies can comply with corporate reporting laws using de facto standards or frameworks.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted an interpretivist approach to research along with current regulatory studies that aim to investigate business compliance with the law using private sector standards. To support the authors’ arguments, publicly available secondary data sources were used, including newsletters, press releases and websites, reports from key players within the accounting profession, public documents issued by the European Commission and data from corporatergister.com.

Findings

To become a de facto standard or framework, a private standard-setter requires the support of corporate regulators to mandate it in a specific national jurisdiction. The de facto standard-setter requires a powerful coalition of actors who can influence the policymakers to allow its adoption and diffusion at a national level to become mandated. Without regulatory support, it is difficult for a private and voluntary reporting standard or framework to be adopted and diffused. Moreover, the authors report that the <IRF> preferences stock market capitalism over sustainability because it privileges organisational sustainability over social and environmental sustainability, emphasises value creation over holding organisations accountable for their impact on society and the environment and privileges the entitlements of providers of financial capital over other stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

The authors question the suitability of the goals of both the <IRF> and the EU Directive during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The planned changes to both need rethinking as we head into uncharted waters. Moreover, the authors believe that the people cannot afford any more reporting façades.

Originality/value

The authors offer a critical analysis of the link between the <IRF> and the EU Directive and how the <IRF> can be used to comply with the EU Directive. By questioning the relevance of the compliance question, the authors advance a critique about the relevance of these and other legal and de facto frameworks, particularly considering the more pressing needs that must be met to address the economic, social and environmental implications of the COVID-19 crisis.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 December 2019

Neungruthai Petcharat and Mahbub Zaman

This paper aims to examine the reporting on sustainability and the level of compliance with international best practice, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), aimed at…

1714

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the reporting on sustainability and the level of compliance with international best practice, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), aimed at improving communicative value to users.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative approach, comprising interviews with senior managers and analysis of disclosures in annual reports of Thai-listed companies, this paper contributes to the literature by providing evidence from an emerging market setting.

Findings

This study finds that sustainability reporting and integrated reporting perspectives of sampling companies are aiming to satisfy information needs to stakeholders and value creation to external users. Sustainability disclosures are related to some aspect of integrated reporting (IR) principles but not all.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study are based on the results from interviews and annual reports of five business sectors, and may therefore, not reflect the sustainability reporting practices and/or annual reports of other Thai-listed companies. Also, there is limited reporting on future outlook.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that while sustainability and IR is being adopted very widely, in many countries, there is much variation in reporting practice especially in our emerging country context adopting a “comply or explain” approach.

Social implications

For the Thai-listed companies, IR systems could be in their early stages and still have long way to go. The results can greatly encourage Thai-listed firms to incorporate integrated information in annual reports based on international standards thus building trust in capital markets and wider society.

Originality/value

The findings contribute to the literature on sustainability reporting and on the level of compliance with international best practice such as GRI by providing empirical analysis of non-financial disclosures within publicly available reporting in Thailand.

Details

Journal of Financial Reporting and Accounting, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1985-2517

Keywords

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. 18 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Yaismir Adriana Rivera-Arrubla, Ana Zorio-Grima and María A. García-Benau

This paper aims to look into the new corporate reporting phenomenon, the so-called integrated reporting (IR), so as to assess the information level provided, identify…

2703

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to look into the new corporate reporting phenomenon, the so-called integrated reporting (IR), so as to assess the information level provided, identify trends and explore its determining factors.

Design/methodology/approach

This study looks into the IR disclosure level of the annual reports published by 91 companies in the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC)’s pilot programme. The authors’ empirical research focuses on four areas: the guiding principles of connectivity and materiality, as well as two content elements: the business model and governance. Following extant research on voluntary disclosure, a disclosure index is proposed and some hypotheses are put forward on its connection with some corporate variables.

Findings

The results point out that the disclosure levels of the IRs published by IIRC’s pilot programme members reach medium levels of disclosure. According to the authors’ index, the level of disclosure is significantly associated with the specific environment of organizations (i.e. region and industry), assurance of the report and publication in the IIRC website.

Originality/value

This study makes a relevant contribution, as it presents an innovative IR disclosure index and sheds some light on the disclosure practices of early adopters of IR. This evidence is valuable in understanding the trends in this field and could help the IIRC and other standard setters with a view to improving sustainable development and reporting.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 14 November 2022

Neelam Setia, Subhash Abhayawansa and Mahesh Joshi

The diffusion of integrated reporting as a practice has stimulated an academic debate about whether integrated reporting has the potential to advance sustainability. The…

Abstract

The diffusion of integrated reporting as a practice has stimulated an academic debate about whether integrated reporting has the potential to advance sustainability. The International Integrated Reporting Framework, which guides the preparation of integrated reports, focuses specifically on providers of financial capital and does not refer explicitly to sustainability in a significant way. But there is evidence that integrated reporting has enhanced the provision of sustainability disclosures. This chapter scrutinizes academic research on integrated reporting, focusing on sustainability published from 2010 to 2021. First, we synthesize arguments about aspects of integrated reporting that inhibit the advancement of sustainability as well as those that help advance sustainability. Then we explain a two-pronged approach for improving the sustainability orientation of any future connected reporting framework. The first one relates to building on the current strengths of integrated reporting for advancing sustainability. The second approach concerns tackling the obstacles to promoting sustainability through integrated reporting identified in the literature. This chapter also provides important insights for future research in the field.

Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

John Dumay, Cristiana Bernardi, James Guthrie and Matteo La Torre

This paper is motivated by the call for feedback by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) from all stakeholders with knowledge of the International

4461

Abstract

Purpose

This paper is motivated by the call for feedback by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) from all stakeholders with knowledge of the International Integrated Reporting Framework (<IRF>) and specifically of the enablers, incentives and barriers to its implementation. The paper synthesises insights from contemporary accounting research into integrated reporting (IR) as a general concept and <IR> as espoused by the IIRC in the <IRF> (IIRC, 2013). The authors specifically focus on possible barriers and emphasise the specific issues the authors feel could be rectified to advance the <IRF>, along with the areas that may potentially hinder its wider adoption and implementation.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws upon and synthesises academic analysis and insights provided in the IR and <IR> academic literature as well as various directives, policy and framework pronouncements.

Findings

The flexibility and lack of prescription concerning actual disclosures and metrics in the <IRF> could allow it to be used for compliance, regardless of the other benefits lauded by the IIRC. Thus the authors see forces, both external and internal, driving <IR> adoption, with one prominent example being the European Union Directive on non-financial reporting. Because of the different ways in which IR is understood and enacted, there are numerous theoretical and empirical challenges for academics. The authors paper highlights potential areas for further robust academic research and the need to contribute to <IR> policy and practice.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides the IIRC, academics, regulators and reporting organisations with insights into current practice and the <IRF>. The authors highlight the need for further development and evidence to help inform improvements both from a policy and a practice perspective. A key limitation of the authors’ work is that the authors draw upon a synthesis of the existing literature which is still in an early stage of development.

Originality/value

The paper provides the IIRC with several insights into the current <IRF> and specifically with the enablers, incentives and barriers to its implementation. Also, it provides academic researchers with a number of important observations and an agenda upon which the authors can build their future research.

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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