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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2016

Helen Hong Yang and Alan Farley

This paper aims to investigate the extent international and domestic guidelines have influenced the content of corporate environmental reporting (CER) in the context of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the extent international and domestic guidelines have influenced the content of corporate environmental reporting (CER) in the context of China’s radical institutional transition from bureaucratic secrecy to openness, marked by the first nationwide guidelines on Open Government Information (OGI) and Open Environment Information (OEI), effective in 2008.

Design/methodology/approach

The study develops a research instrument that captures international and Chinese national guidelines pertaining to environmental information disclosure. This instrument is used to analyse 471 reports of leading 100 listed Chinese companies for the critical period between 2006 and 2010. Chi-square test statistics are used to analyse the significance of differences in reporting items supported by Chinese guidelines versus those supported by international reporting guidelines only.

Findings

Partial convergence in climate-change reporting co-exists with divergent China specific interpretation of climate change. The coercive institutional influences of the Chinese government’s guidance in OGI and OEI led to the rapid growth of CER in 2008 compared to 2006, despite compliance being voluntary.

Originality/value

The study is innovative in explicitly measuring any changes in reporting relative to the potential for additional reporting. Such a method more accurately evaluates the effect of institutional influences on reporting. The study provides a fresh profile of the content and the reporting medium of CER, with a particular focus on climate change in the Chinese context. The findings highlight research into CER based on annual reports risks results being incomplete and misleading. Findings have practical implications for policy makers in other emerging economies.

Details

International Journal of Accounting & Information Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1834-7649

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2014

Paolo Rossi

– The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the convergence of the social reporting guidelines available in Italy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the convergence of the social reporting guidelines available in Italy.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a documentary analysis of four selected social reporting guidelines provided by Italian institutions or translated in Italian.

Findings

The results of the analysis point out that it is possible to identify an isomorphic convergence among the guidelines, though differences remain relevant and express peculiar institutional expectations on the behaviours of different typologies of organizations.

Research limitations/implications

The study is limited to Italian social reporting guidelines; however, it provides a methodology which could be applied in different contexts.

Practical implications

This study identifies the leading and primary issues in social reporting practices across different sectorial and methodological schemes.

Social implications

The convergence of social reporting guidelines has a twofold implication: on one hand, social accountability is plastic issue, adaptable to different organization sectors and typologies; on the other, a common codification and commodification of social accountability is emerging.

Originality/value

The article proposes a cross-sectorial analysis of social reporting methodologies, to identify analogies, differences and trends of institutionalization and standardization of this process.

Details

Society and Business Review, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5680

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Subhash Asanga Abhayawansa

With a view to enabling organisations provide a clear understanding of firm value creation, several national and supranational institutions have produced guidelines and…

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2303

Abstract

Purpose

With a view to enabling organisations provide a clear understanding of firm value creation, several national and supranational institutions have produced guidelines and frameworks for externally reporting intellectual capital (IC). In many cases regulators, the accounting profession and accounting scholars have driven these initiatives. The purpose of this paper is to summarise, analyse and compare the guidelines and frameworks that have been developed with a focus on externally reporting IC.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses the assumptions underpinning 20 guidelines and frameworks that have been developed with a focus on reporting IC using a self-constructed framework.

Findings

The review resulted in a comparison of IC reporting guidelines and framework based on target audience, role of IC within the organisational strategic management process and reporting IC indicator. It provides an understanding of the state of the art in relation to external reporting of IC.

Practical implications

The insights provided by the comparison of the guidelines and frameworks are likely to be helpful for practitioners wanting to adopt or develop an IC reporting model for their organisation. Policy-makers will find these insights beneficial when attempting to refine existing frameworks and guidelines for reporting IC and in developing new ones to suit various circumstances. Also, this paper provides a useful review for academics.

Originality/value

This is the first paper to provide a review of a large number of business reporting guidelines and frameworks with a focus on IC. It is a valuable reference for practitioners, policy-makers and academics on IC reporting models.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 15 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 14 October 2020

Dinithi Dissanayake

First, this paper aims to explore the extent of the global reporting initiative (GRI) sustainability key performance indicator (KPI) usage in sustainability reporting by…

Abstract

Purpose

First, this paper aims to explore the extent of the global reporting initiative (GRI) sustainability key performance indicator (KPI) usage in sustainability reporting by businesses operating in Sri Lanka. Second, using a contingency theory approach, this research examines the factors which promote or inhibit the use of the GRI framework to adopt sustainability KPIs in a developing country context, Sri Lanka.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis and semi-structured interviews are used in this study to explore the key factors which affect the usage of the GRI framework by Sri Lankan companies in adopting sustainability KPIs and reporting on sustainability.

Findings

The findings indicate that the GRI framework is increasingly used for sustainability reporting by Sri Lankan companies because of its flexibility, consistency, legitimacy and its focus on continuous improvement. However, company managers also shed light on the extensive number of KPIs in the GRI framework making selections challenging and the consequent difficulties associated with adapting these KPIs for companies operating in a developing country context.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to extending the broader literature on sustainability reporting in developing countries and specifically on sustainability KPIs. Second, this paper adds to the current empirical research on sustainability reporting in Sri Lanka where the literature is still sparse. Third, this study highlights the key factors that support or hinder the usage of the GRI framework in a developing country context.

Practical implications

Important insights for GRI, other standard-setting agencies and businesses can be drawn from the findings of this study. By capitalising further on the training and the educational courses provided by GRI, GRI can be involved in mitigating some of the pressing issues faced by the reporting companies.

Originality/value

This study adds to the limited research on sustainability reporting and sustainability KPIs in developing country contexts. It shows how companies in Sri Lanka are engaging with sustainability KPIs and sustainability reporting, but are also constrained by the GRI framework as its standards are not tailored to issues in developing countries.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Geoffrey Turner, Petros Vourvachis and Thérèse Woodward

In the past decade much has been written on the need to develop social, ethical and environmentally responsible performance reporting frameworks that engage with all…

Abstract

In the past decade much has been written on the need to develop social, ethical and environmentally responsible performance reporting frameworks that engage with all organisational stakeholders. The theoretical development of these frameworks has spanned nearly a century culminating in the release in 2000 of voluntary guidelines developed by the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies and the United Nations Environment Programme through the offices of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The release of the sustainability reporting guidelines perhaps could not have been more inopportune insofar as it coincided with a concerted effort on the part of the accounting regulators toward global harmonisation of financial reporting standards. This paper reports the findings of a survey of Company Secretaries and company provided information examining the extent to which these guidelines have been adopted by the leading public companies in the United Kingdom. The findings suggest limited acceptance and in the resource‐constrained environment of the twenty‐first century business implementation of mandatory requirements are given priority. Further research needs to be conducted to determine whether the GRI has a role to play in future stakeholder engagement.

Details

Journal of Applied Accounting Research, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-5426

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2020

Habib Zaman Khan, Sudipta Bose, Abu Taher Mollik and Harun Harun

This study explores the quality of sustainability reporting (QSR) and the impact of regulatory guidelines, social performance and a standardised reporting framework (using…

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1696

Abstract

Purpose

This study explores the quality of sustainability reporting (QSR) and the impact of regulatory guidelines, social performance and a standardised reporting framework (using the Global Reporting Initiative [GRI] guidelines) on QSR in the context of banks in Bangladesh.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 315 banking firm-year observations over 13 years (2002–2014), a content analysis technique is used to develop the 11-item QSR index. Regression analysis is used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

Initially, QSR evolved symbolically in Bangladesh's banks but, over our investigation period, with QSR indicators gradually improving, the trends became substantive. The influences on QSR were sustainable banking practice regulatory guidelines, social performance and use of the GRI guidelines. However, until banks improve reporting information, such as external verification and trends over time, QSR cannot be regarded as fully substantive.

Research limitations/implications

This study advances QSR research and debate among academic researchers. With regulatory agencies and stakeholders increasingly using sustainability reporting information for decision making, the information's quality is vital.

Originality/value

This study is the first on QSR in the banking industry context, with previous research mostly investigating the quantity of sustainability reporting. The current study also synthesises QSR with sustainability regulation and social performance factors which have rarely been used in the sustainability literature. To gain a holistic understanding of QSR, existing QSR measures are advanced by combining external reporting efforts with banks' internalisation initiatives.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2009

Aries Widiarto Sutantoputra

The paper aims to contribute to the development of a systematic social disclosure rating system for analysing firms' social performance through their corporate social…

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6867

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to contribute to the development of a systematic social disclosure rating system for analysing firms' social performance through their corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports or similar social disclosures. The rating incorporates the comprehensive Global Reporting Initiatives (GRI) 2002 reporting framework as the benchmark for measuring firm's social performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Literature review in the areas of CSR development, CSR reporting, CSR reporting frameworks, GRI 2002 Guidelines will be utilised in order to create social disclosures rating using GRI 2002 reporting framework.

Findings

The rating accommodates standardized measures of social performance based on the GRI 2002 Guidelines and enables comparison of CSR practices among companies, particularly firms' social accountability to society.

Originality/value

The contribution of the paper will fill the lack of standardized content analysis measures of CSR reports, particularly social aspects of CSR. It provides a comprehensive coverage of social indicators, which capture the wide range of issues in social theme of CSR.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2011

Federica Farneti and Benedetta Siboni

This paper seeks to analyse social report guidelines and practices within Italian local governments (ILGs). First, it compares the contents of the two Italian governmental…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to analyse social report guidelines and practices within Italian local governments (ILGs). First, it compares the contents of the two Italian governmental guidelines for developing social reports in public sector organisations with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guideline, to determine similarities and differences in disclosures. Second, it examines a group of social reports issued by ILGs, to explore the incidence, frequency, and quality of disclosure, as against the GRI guideline.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses content analysis to test the nature/content of the governmental guidelines, and to determine what was disclosed in a group of ILGs' social reports. The paper analyses the social reports by applying the Guthrie and Farneti coding instrument, extended by including the Italian governmental guidelines.

Findings

Several observations emerge from the present study. First, from the comparison of the GRI and the Italian governmental guidelines, it emerges that only a few categories of the latter are similar to the GRI and these concern mainly general aspects. Second, the disclosure of categories and elements in the social reports, as against the coding instrument, was found to be fragmentary. The paper concludes that the Italian governmental guidelines are of a managerial nature, and they have little to do with sustainability, except for aspects related to labour.

Originality/value

Little research has been published on social reporting practices within the public sector, unlike the private sector. In Italy social reports are an emerging practice, with a growing interest paid by the government and academia. Nevertheless, published research is mainly of a normative nature, and there is a gap on what actually is in social reports.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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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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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Ulf Johanson, Chitoshi Koga, Matti Skoog and Johan Henningsson

The purpose of the present paper is to discuss the Guideline for Intellectual Property Information Disclosure (GIPID) in relation to the ambitious aspirations behind the…

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2854

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the present paper is to discuss the Guideline for Intellectual Property Information Disclosure (GIPID) in relation to the ambitious aspirations behind the guideline and in that way develop a future research agenda aiming at addressing the main challenges regarding the construction of guidelines for future IC reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The purpose will be achieved by comparing the GIPID with two other IC guideline proposals, namely MERITUM and the Danish Guideline for Intellectual Capital Statements, respectively, from a capital market communication perspective and from a management control perspective. References are made to 12 Japanese companies that have published IP reports. The sample companies operate in a wide range of nine industries covering, for example, security, manufacturing, transportation, and chemistry, and comprise large as well as small firms.

Findings

The study identifies four major challenges for intellectual capital guidelines and reporting. These challenges regard market communication, management control, uniqueness versus comparability, and confidentiality versus accountability. The paper concludes with a number of questions of vital importance for future research within the research area.

Originality/value

This is one of the first papers that discuss the Japanese Guideline for Intellectual Property Information Disclosure as well as to compare it with similar European guidelines.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

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