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Article
Publication date: 3 July 2017

Sonia Shimeld, Belinda Williams and Justin Shimeld

The business case argument was used to underpin the inclusion of diversity disclosures within the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Corporate Governance Principles and…

Abstract

Purpose

The business case argument was used to underpin the inclusion of diversity disclosures within the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations (2010). By adding a requirement for diversity disclosure, an increase in focus on diversity would be expected because of a heightened level of accountability. Whether this change in the Recommendations affected any change in the boardroom is questionable though. The purpose of this paper is to explore the effectiveness of these disclosure requirements.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw on data obtained from a random sample of 120 ASX-listed company annual reports across two time periods: 2009 and 2012 (before and after the change in the Recommendations).

Findings

Although findings indicate that there has been some change, especially in the more visible companies (ASX200), many of the changes appear to be largely superficial with a continued focus on the business case perspective.

Social implications

While the disclosure recommendations have the potential to be a driver in addressing gender inequity, the findings of this paper indicate that without deep change at the organisational level, requiring listed companies to disclose on gender diversity may have little impact, with the focus remaining on the business case and business as normal.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature on gender diversity in the boardroom and the effect of disclosure. The empirical findings contribute to an understanding of the diversity Recommendations within the ASX Corporate Governance Principles and Recommendations, but in doing so, it calls for deeper organisational cultural change if real change is to take effect.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2022

Leanne J. Morrison, Trevor Wilmshurst and Sonia Shimeld

This paper aims to examine the role numbers play in corporate environmental reporting. To deeply examine the ontological meanings of enumeration in the context of nature…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the role numbers play in corporate environmental reporting. To deeply examine the ontological meanings of enumeration in the context of nature, the histories of number and accounting are explored. Some key tropes emerge from these histories, namely, distancing and control.

Design/methodology/approach

To explore some of the implications of quantifying nature, three years of environmental reports of ten companies from the ASX200 are analysed through a Barthsian lens. Examples of enumerating nature are highlighted and explored in terms of what this means for the corporate relationship with nature. This study has focussed on some specific aspects of nature that are commonly counted in corporate environmental reporting: carbon, energy, water, biodiversity and waste. This study explores how monetisation and obfuscation are used and how this informs the myth that nature is controllable.

Findings

This study finds that quantifying nature constructs a metaphorical distance between the company and the natural world which erodes the sense of connection associated with an authentic care for nature. These findings are critical in light of the detrimental impact of corporate activity on the natural world. The reports themselves, while promoted as a tool to help mitigate damage to the natural environment, are implicitly perpetuating its harm.

Research limitations/implications

Given the extent to which companies are responsible for environmental damage and the potential capacity embedded in corporate communications, better understanding the implications of quantifying nature could powerfully instigate a new but necessary approach to nature.

Originality/value

The insights of this paper are relevant to those aiming to improve the underpinning approaches used in corporate environmental reporting. This paper provides new understandings of the ways quantitative expression of environmental values constructs the myth that nature is controllable.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 May 2015

Belinda Rachael Williams, Simone Bingham and Sonia Shimeld

The purpose of this study is to understand how board composition and independent non-executive director (INED) disclosures have changed in light of the global financial…

2013

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand how board composition and independent non-executive director (INED) disclosures have changed in light of the global financial crisis (GFC) from an accountability perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis techniques were undertaken on a random sample of 75 publicly listed companies across two time periods, 2005 and 2010.

Findings

The findings highlighted increased INED board membership and increased skill and experience disclosure across all board positions, with the most significant increase being the INED position. The results support the notion that firms are attempting to restore their accountability relationships post-GFC through more transparent mechanisms of governance. However, concerns are also raised in the way individual companies are meeting the ASX Corporate Governance independence requirements.

Research limitations/implications

The results raise questions as to whether firms have implemented these changes to ensure effective governance and accountability responsibilities, or simply to give the appearance of good governance.

Originality/value

Little attention has been given in the literature to the characteristics of INEDs and whether board changes have been made in the wake of corporate and financial crises. The findings from this study contribute to an understanding of board composition and disclosures pre- and post-GFC.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 30 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

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