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Article
Publication date: 3 December 2018

Sita deliyana Firmialy and Yunieta Anny Nainggolan

This study aims to focus on developing the sustainability reporting index (SRI) with combined perspectives from varied social rating agencies, along with integrated…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to focus on developing the sustainability reporting index (SRI) with combined perspectives from varied social rating agencies, along with integrated combined perspectives from academics experts and Indonesian companies.

Design/methodology/approach

The first section discusses the theoretical framework along with the sustainability challenges faced by companies in Indonesia. The second section develops the methodology of the study to measure the SRI by considering practical and theoretical perspectives, starting from the identification of initial disclosure, selecting the final disclosure and developing the hierarchical framework. Lastly, the third section confirms the validity of the study’s framework by the exploratory factor analysis method and its comparability by comparing the content analysis result of the study with the Kinder–Lydenberg–Domini (KLD) method. The content analysis was used to analyze annual reports, sustainability reports and companies’ websites based on indicators found in the resulted model.

Findings

The main finding is the SRI framework (SRIF) of the study, which is built on the basis of the stakeholder relationship theory and is focused on three main dimensions (social, economic and environmental). Specifically, the framework consists of 17 indicators and 93 sub-indicators. On the basis of factor analysis method, it can be safely said that the study’s SRIF is quite valid. The high score of correlations between the SRIF and KLD results at the composite and dimension levels, along with the statistically significant results show that the study’s SRIF results and KLD results are fairly similar.

Research limitations/implications

The present study has its limitation as it only gathers data from publicly available reports issued by the firms (secondary data). Owing to time limitation, primary data are not collected. However, this is also the strength of this research as it will allow investors to replicate the study’s methodology to measure companies’ sustainability.

Practical implications

The study is useful to organizations and statutory bodies toward finding a replicable method to measure the Indonesian companies’ social performance. In addition, the study also introduced the usefulness of the qualitative program Atlas TI to perform content analysis, the exploratory factor analysis method to ensure validity and comparability by comparing it to the KLD methodology, which is known globally as the most widely accepted methodology to measures social performance. Lastly, this study will provide implications to the Government to ascertain the level of SRI reporting among the Indonesian public-listed companies.

Originality/value

The resulted framework in this study simultaneously considers social, environmental and economic factors in the context of companies in Indonesia, while previous researchers have constructed reporting index separately (i.e. Sumiani et al., 2007; Zhao et al., 2012). Especially in the context of Indonesia, there is no such index simultaneously focused on the three main dimensions, namely, social, environmental and economics. The current study tries to fill the gap by using the constructed SRI index based on three perspectives combined, namely, social rating agencies, academic theorist and Indonesian companies.

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