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Article
Publication date: 23 August 2021

Dominika Hadro, Justyna Fijałkowska, Karolina Daszyńska-Żygadło, Ilze Zumente and Svetlana Mjakuškina

This study aims to verify whether non-financial disclosure in the construction industry (CI) responds to stakeholders’ information needs and explores the most frequent…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to verify whether non-financial disclosure in the construction industry (CI) responds to stakeholders’ information needs and explores the most frequent topics disclosed in terms of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) pillars.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a bag-of-words method and latent Dirichlet allocation to match stakeholders’ expectations with information disclosed by companies. This paper assesses the publicly available non-financial disclosure of the 46 European CI companies covered by the Refinitiv database with ESG scores.

Findings

This study provides two main findings. First, it shows the mismatch between stakeholders’ information needs and what they get in non-financial reporting. Despite non-financial information in CI disclosure, the information disclosed by many CI companies does not meet their users’ information needs. CI companies commonly focus on their sustainable products and health policy while omitting other topics of interest – the circular economy, unethical business behaviour, migrant policy and human trafficking. Second, this study indicates the defects of simple disclosure analysis based on keywords and highlights the importance of context in information analysis.

Practical implications

The proposed novel approach to text analysis offers several practical applications. It is a more effective tool for evaluating companies’ sustainability performance. It may be especially important to ESG rating providers. Additionally, the results may be of interest to companies wishing to improve their communication, and, in particular, to regulators and standard setters in two matters. The first is the need for more pressure to increase awareness among issuers to shift from disclosing large amounts of non-financial information to disclosing good quality non-financial information, which would be appropriate for meeting stakeholders’ expectations. The second is the necessity for deepening issuers’ understanding of the diverse stakeholders’ information needs, considering the substantial differences among industries and improving communication to meet them.

Originality/value

This study introduces text analysis that, apart from keywords, considers the context of these keywords’ appearances in a report’s narration. It allows a significantly improved understanding of the information disclosed and a more stable grounding for reasoning, leading to better and informed decisions. Moreover, this study verifies how the information disclosed matches stakeholders’ needs. Finally, it enriches the literature on sectoral analysis concerning non-financial disclosure.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Per Flöstrand and Niklas Ström

Research has called for increased relevance of business reporting. A step towards that goal is an increased disclosure of non‐financial information. At the present time…

Abstract

Purpose

Research has called for increased relevance of business reporting. A step towards that goal is an increased disclosure of non‐financial information. At the present time, non‐financial information is mostly provided on a voluntary basis.

Design/methodology/approach

Valuation relevance of non‐financial information is studied by examining the information content of 200 analyst reports written on a respective number of firms listed in the S&P 500 index, while simultaneously performing a disclosure study of non‐financial information by the same 200 firms in their annual reports.

Findings

We found the valuation relevance of non‐financial information to be related to the size of the target firm. Further, analysts’ use of non‐financial information is related to the level of non‐financial information in the 10‐k report of the target firm. Finally, analysts tend to rely more heavily on forward‐looking non‐financial information than on historical non‐financial information.

Practical implications

The findings in this paper have implications for policy makers, preparers of business reporting, and others having to make judgments on information usefulness.

Originality/value

This study looks at the valuation relevance of non‐financial information, as opposed to earlier studies that have judged the usefulness of non‐financial information by measuring its value relevance. Information is regarded to have valuation relevance if it is used by analysts in the valuation process. Hence, valuation relevance offers an alternative way of measuring information usefulness.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 29 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 19 April 2011

Susanne Arvidsson

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the management teams' views regarding different aspects related to the disclosure of non‐financial information in the annual…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the management teams' views regarding different aspects related to the disclosure of non‐financial information in the annual report. The focus is on the following aspects: incentive, quantity, focus, use of non‐financial key performance indicators (KPIs) and trends.

Design/methodology/approach

The data are based on a comprehensive questionnaire survey addressed to investor‐relation managers (IRMs) at the largest companies listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange.

Findings

The study confirms an increasing focus of non‐financial information related to intangible assets in corporate disclosure. This increase appears to be both regulatory and demand driven. Encouraging indeed is that management teams seem to have acknowledged the importance not only to describe the less tangible values per se, but also to explain the roles they play in the value‐creation process and in corporate strategy. Furthermore, the study reveals a trend shift from research and development (R&D) and relational information towards corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee‐related information, an increasing number of non‐financial KPIs and a positive attitude to mandatory requirements. Overall, the findings indicate that voluntary disclosure compensates for the deficiencies of financial statements to properly disclose intangible assets. This may lessen the risk of the argued impairment of the efficient allocation of resources on the stock market.

Practical implications

The findings reveal that quite a few challenges lie ahead in shaping efficient corporate disclosures where also intangible assets are in focus. The most critically relate to dealing with the concerns of reliability and comparability associated with disclosures of intangible assets and their related non‐financial KPIs. This needs to be taken on promptly by management teams, policy makers and financial market regulators if the corporate‐disclosure process shall function efficiently and facilitate decreased information asymmetry and uphold an efficient allocation of resources on the stock market.

Originality/value

Herein not only one aspect related to disclosure of non‐financial information is being analysed, but also several and from a management‐team perspective, which is a perspective often neglected for the sophisticated‐user perspective.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 14 May 2019

Martin Esch, Mike Schulze and Andreas Wald

The purpose of this paper is to link the fields of research on strategic decision (SD) making and integrated reporting (IR) and advances knowledge of the concept of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to link the fields of research on strategic decision (SD) making and integrated reporting (IR) and advances knowledge of the concept of integrated thinking by describing how financial information and non-financial environmental, social and governance (ESG) information are used in different phases of the strategic decision-making process (SDMP).

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 15 senior executives from twelve different industries were asked about the importance of different types of information within SDMPs. The data were analyzed by means of content analysis.

Findings

The authors derive a four-phase model and explicate the utilization of financial information and non-financial ESG information within each phase. The findings show that both types of information affect SDMPs, but the importance of each type differs among the phases.

Practical implications

This study offers practitioners a yardstick against which to compare how they use different types of information throughout the SDMP.

Originality/value

This paper provides a conceptual model of integrated thinking in SD making by connecting two separate fields of research. This connection will permit deeper study of the field of information and its implications for SD making. The present investigation shows that IR can promote integrated thinking in companies, as the broader range of information at hand allows companies to form a holistic picture of internal management questions and incorporate information that has not been previously prepared or associated with existing information.

Details

Journal of Strategy and Management, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-425X

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2020

Simone Pizzi, Andrea Venturelli and Fabio Caputo

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of the comply-or-explain principle in the Italian context. In particular, the analysis will evaluate, which…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of the comply-or-explain principle in the Italian context. In particular, the analysis will evaluate, which factor impact on firms' voluntary adoption of this tool to adequate their non-financial reports to the legal requirements of Directive 95/2014/EU.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology consists of two different levels of analysis. The first part is statistical descriptive, and it consists of a rhetorical analysis on the justifications provided by the firms about their omissions to comply with Directive 95/2014/EU. The second part is inferential and its aim is to evaluate, which factors impact on comply-or-explains adoption.

Findings

The findings reveal how the comply-or-explain application in Italy has been characterized by several criticisms. The result highlight how the justifications adopted by the firms is influenced by their sector of activity and omission's type. Moreover, the analysis suggests how the sector of activity and the level of adherence to global reporting initiative influenced the average number of omissions.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the research are represented by the focuses on a single country and by the short period of analysis. In this sense, future research could be addressed to the analysis of countries different from Italy. Moreover, accounting scholars could provide further contributions to the political debate through the evolution of the “comply-or-explain” principle’s strategies over the years.

Practical implications

The practical implications connected to the present research are twofold. The first one is represented by the possibility for policymakers to increase the degree of attention about the use of comply-or-explain as legitimization's tool. The second one is represented by the possibility for practitioners to identify a new reporting framework.

Social implications

The social implications are represented by the possibility for stakeholders to evaluate the reliability's degree of the disclosure produced by Italian public interest entities after the implementation of Directive 95/2014/EU.

Originality/value

Despite the growing attention paid by academics regard Directive 95/2014/EU, this is the first attempt to analyze the comply-or-explain from a rhetorical perspective.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

Mostaque Hussain

A number of Management Accounting (MA) researches have demonstrated the shortcomings of traditional accounting‐based performance measures for today’s uncertain Economic…

Abstract

A number of Management Accounting (MA) researches have demonstrated the shortcomings of traditional accounting‐based performance measures for today’s uncertain Economic Conditions (EC) in technologically advancement competitive environments. The MA literature suggests the impact of economic pressures on MA practices, though there are different notions regarding the impact of EC on Non‐financial Performance Measurement (NFPM). Some researchers argue that management needs an interactive information system in more volatile and uncertain EC, and accordingly, the mode of the use of financial performance measures is greater in uncertain EC. However, some welldocumented predictions about the relationship of the external environmental, viz a viz uncertain economic environments, with the need of managers’ financial and nonfinancial information. Taking these aspects into account, it is important to consider the effect of EC on MA performance measures and their degree of responsiveness and adaptability to particular circumstances. Thus, this research made an attempt to study the impinge of EC on NFPM in Banks/Financial Institutions (BFI). The multiple case study approach, especially the study of different kinds of BFI in different macro environments, provides an opportunity to examine the effect of NFPM in different environments. The cross‐country studies help to demonstrate the rationale for the impact of EC on NFPM in three countries (Finland, Sweden and Japan). Results of this study anticipate that the uncertainty of EC increase pressures on management to improve and measure financial performance in order to survive in the hostile EC. To the contrary, managers would improve as well as measure non‐financial performance in the organizations.

Details

Managerial Finance, vol. 29 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-4358

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2020

Joanna Krasodomska, Jan Michalak and Katarzyna Świetla

This paper aims to explore accountants’ views on mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. It focuses on three main factors underpinning their…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore accountants’ views on mandatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. It focuses on three main factors underpinning their understanding and attitude towards non-financial disclosures: general understanding of the concept, gender and work experience.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses social identity theory as the theoretical framework. The findings are based on a survey conducted among 73 accountants in 2018. The questionnaire consisted of 86 questions divided into 9 main areas. The Mann–Whitney U test was used to determine if there are any significant differences between the accountants’ attitudes towards non-financial disclosures.

Findings

Study results suggest that the general knowledge of CSR reporting among accounting specialists is insufficient. The attitude towards mandatory CSR disclosures significantly differs between accountants who participated in training related to non-financial reporting and those who did not. Contrary to expectations, there were no significant differences in responses either between female and male accountants or between accountants at the beginning of their career path (with experience shorter than five years) and the more experienced ones. The paper contributes to social theory studies as it refers to the problem of the influence of professional associations, governments and big accounting firms on the transformation of accountants’ social identity. It also discusses the relations between the characteristics influencing personal identity and social identity of accountants in shaping their attitude towards mandatory non-financial disclosures.

Practical implications

The findings could be of interest to the higher education and professional certification institutions which should consider bringing accounting curricula more closely to the realities of the current business environment.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the body of literature mainly because it investigates a diversified sample of accountants in a relatively unexplored institutional setting. It may also serve as a starting point for research that more broadly explores accountants’ engagement in non-financial disclosures on CSR.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Nor Azrina bt Mohd Yusof @ Ghani, Wee Shu Hui, Ibrahim Kamal Abdul Rahman, Normah Omar Shah Alam and Michael S.C. Tse

Since the 1990s, there has been a growing interest in style of information usage. However, most studies on style of information usage are conducted in developed countries…

Abstract

Purpose

Since the 1990s, there has been a growing interest in style of information usage. However, most studies on style of information usage are conducted in developed countries. There is limited research on style of information usage in developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to fill the gap in the existing literature by examining relationships between style of information usage and use of financial and non‐financial information in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors adopted a survey method, for which a written questionnaire was prepared and mailed out to companies in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Terengganu and Pulau Pinang.

Findings

Findings of the study show that diagnostic style of information usage is positively associated with use of financial information, while interactive style of information usage is positively associated with use of non‐financial information. Further analysis on types of non‐financial information used by managers who adopt interactive style of information usage reveals that customer‐related non‐financial information such as quality, customer satisfaction and flexibility play a more important role in their decision‐making processes.

Originality/value

The paper provides insights into relationships between style of information usage on and use of accounting information in developing countries. Findings of the study can be applied to assist management accountants in meeting managers’ information requirements.

Details

Asian Review of Accounting, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1321-7348

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 July 2020

Francesca Manes-Rossi, Giuseppe Nicolò and Daniela Argento

Research dealing with non-financial reporting formats in public sector organizations is progressively expanding. This paper systematizes the existing literature with the…

Abstract

Purpose

Research dealing with non-financial reporting formats in public sector organizations is progressively expanding. This paper systematizes the existing literature with the aim of understanding how research is developing and identifying the gaps in need of further investigation.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured literature review was conducted by rigorously following the steps defined in previous studies. The structured nature of the literature review paves the way for a solid understanding and critical analysis of the state of the art of research on non-financial reporting formats in public sector organizations.

Findings

The critical analysis of the literature shows that most existing studies have focused on sustainability reporting in higher education institutions, local governments and state-owned enterprises, while remaining silent on the healthcare sector. Additional theoretical and empirical approaches should feed future research. Several areas deserve further investigations that might impactfully affect public sector organizations, standard setters, practitioners and scholars.

Originality/value

This paper offers a comprehensive review of the literature on different reporting formats that public sector organizations adopt to report various dimensions of their performance to both internal and external stakeholders. The structured literature review enables the identification of future directions for the literature in this field.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

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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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