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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2021

Seleshi Sisaye

The purpose of this research is to provide an integrated approach of organizational ecology, population ecology and selection mechanisms within the context of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to provide an integrated approach of organizational ecology, population ecology and selection mechanisms within the context of the resource-based view of the firm, evolutionary economics (EC) and transaction cost economics (TCE). It applies this framework to examine the interrelationships between corporate social reporting (CSR) and global reporting initiative.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology for this paper is library-based archival research. It is qualitative and analytically descriptive of prior academic research and published literature on the subject.

Findings

CSR has the potential to provide functional credence to corporate social and environmental activities by legitimizing institutionalized corporate norms and behavior.

Originality/value

Accounting scholars have recognized the need for an integrated approach in the social sciences to examine the multifaceted aspects of sustainability development and accounting. This research highlights that sustainability is related to ecosystems, environments, natural resources, demography, population, culture, political systems and history.

Details

Journal of Business and Socio-economic Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2635-1374

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 30 April 2021

Seleshi Sisaye

The purpose of this paper is to show the impact that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have on the evolution of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). GRI is a…

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1567

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show the impact that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have on the evolution of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). GRI is a sustainability report disclosed by business organizations to meet the demands and interests of various stakeholders. These stakeholders’ needs have influenced GRI and its guidelines.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology for this paper is library-based archival research. It is qualitatively and analytically descriptive of prior academic research and published literature on the subject.

Findings

Sustainability accounting rulemaking has evolved overtime resulting in proliferation of reporting rules. These rules have improved the extent and scope of environmental and economic performances that businesses disclose in GRI.

Originality/value

GRI has provided the foundation for integrated reporting (IR). Both GRI and IR have ecological and functional dimensions. Sustainability is functionally inherent in the accounting principle of materiality, when disclosed in external reporting. The ongoing concern of business assumes an organization is systemic and operates as a living entity only when it can provide sustainable performance that benefits stakeholders and society.

Details

Journal of Business and Socio-economic Development, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2635-1374

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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: 15 January 2018

Amanpreet Kaur and Sumit Lodhia

The purpose of this paper is to examine how stakeholders are engaged in the sustainability accounting and reporting processes of Australian local councils.

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4908

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how stakeholders are engaged in the sustainability accounting and reporting processes of Australian local councils.

Design/methodology/approach

Managerial stakeholder theory through the use of the notion of stakeholder salience provides a theoretical basis for exploring stakeholder engagement in the sustainability accounting and reporting process. Case study research was used to explore the stakeholder engagement practices of three Australian local councils. Data collection methods included interviews and document analysis.

Findings

The findings of this research identified the importance of stakeholder engagement in the entire sustainability accounting and reporting process, the development of strategic plans and sustainability indicators, the measurement of sustainability performance and the preparation of sustainability reports.

Research limitations/implications

This study, by integrating the sustainability accounting and reporting literature with the stakeholder salience concepts of power, legitimacy, urgency and proximity, illustrates the critical role of stakeholder engagement in the sustainability accounting and reporting process of three local councils.

Practical implications

This study has implications for public sector organisations (PSOs) and their stakeholders in relation to stakeholder engagement in sustainability accounting and reporting. The findings of this study will also be useful to corporations in understanding the importance of stakeholder engagement in sustainability accounting and reporting.

Social implications

The public sector is expected to be a leader in sustainability and this paper provides evidence of three councils who through their stakeholder engagement provide exemplars of useful practices that could be adopted by other entities.

Originality/value

Prior research in PSOs has primarily focused on the sustainability accounting and reporting process but has given limited consideration to the involvement of stakeholders. The focus on stakeholder engagement through the use of managerial stakeholder theory extends the role of stakeholders from merely being an audience for sustainability reports to an influential contributor in the sustainability accounting and reporting process.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2018

Cristiano Busco, Elena Giovannoni, Fabrizio Granà and Maria Federica Izzo

The purpose of this paper is to explore the enabling role of accounting and reporting practices as discourses about sustainability unfold inside organizations. In…

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2137

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the enabling role of accounting and reporting practices as discourses about sustainability unfold inside organizations. In particular, the authors investigate how managers attempt to connect the concept of “sustainability” to their specific experience, as they seek to make sustainability meaningful (i.e. filling it with unfolding meaning) through accounting and within particular discursive spaces.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors rely upon the case of LOGIC, a large international oil and gas company operating in more than 70 countries worldwide. The authors analyze the evolution of discourses concerning sustainability inside the company, as well as the changing accounting and reporting practices, with a particular focus on integrated reporting.

Findings

The authors show that accounting and reporting practices (such as integrated reporting within LOGIC) provide the conditions for “sustainability”—as a discursive concept—to become meaningful, while evolving themselves as they are attached to this concept. They do so by enabling individuals (the management team within LOGIC) to connect their diverse experiences and aspirations to the concept of sustainability. Rather than filling sustainability with stable meaning, the authors observed that individuals are attracted by the gaps left by accounting representations, leading to the development of new practices and unfolding meanings within specific discursive spaces.

Originality/value

Most of the literature on sustainability accounting and reporting practices concentrate on the need for these practices to mirror what companies do about sustainability. Differently, the authors add to the very few studies on “aspirational” reporting that have emphasized the enabling effects of the gap between what companies say and do about sustainability. The authors do so by demonstrating that accounting is “aspirational” not only because it stimulates corporate efforts toward an imaginary better future, but also because it attracts managers’ particular aspirations through its representational gap. The authors show that this gap enables meaningful connections between individuals (their particular experience and aspirations) andsustainability,” bringing this concept into their specific discursive space and, thereby, leading to the emergence of new practices.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 31 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2013

Seleshi Sisaye

The purpose of this paper is to document the integration of sustainability into the accounting curriculum. Compared to many disciplines in the social and administrative…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to document the integration of sustainability into the accounting curriculum. Compared to many disciplines in the social and administrative sciences, the greening of the curriculum in accounting is a recent phenomenon. Nevertheless, there has been a remarkable growth in both the content and the coverage of sustainability topics integrated into the accounting curriculum.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach to the paper is multidisciplinary. It has combined organizational sociology and ecological anthropology approaches in the integration of sustainability into the accounting curriculum. In accounting, there is an increasing emphasis on the application of social science perspectives, particularly sociology and anthropology in curriculum development and pedagogical issues. This paper demonstrates that the influence of these two disciplines in accounting education is substantial.

Findings

Sustainability in accounting has both theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, sustainability has integrated social and environmental dimensions into accounting education and research. Sustainability reporting contains information on the economic, social, and environmental activities of business organizations. In practice, sustainability has influenced the accounting standard-setting organizations in developing guidelines on how to integrate sustainability into corporate reports so that the information can be verified and certified by public accounting and regulatory organizations.

Originality/value

The paper is among the first to demonstrate the importance of organizational sociology and ecological anthropology for the integration of sustainability into the accounting curriculum. Both sociology and anthropology have been in the forefront of the study of ecology and natural resources management and conservation in sustainability development. The paper approaches have important implications for sustainability education and framework in accounting theory and research.

Details

World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 9 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5961

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2014

Vida Botes, Mary Low and James Chapman

This study aims to examine to what extent and how effective sustainability education has been at the tertiary accounting education level. The New Zealand (NZ…

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3261

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine to what extent and how effective sustainability education has been at the tertiary accounting education level. The New Zealand (NZ) Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment identified that sustainability education, as part of university education, is important, though NZ universities currently perform poorly in this area. This study looks at the important issue of sustainability education in the context of the emerging field of ecological economics and new understanding in business role and function of society where accounting education represents the precondition in meeting the challenges successfully.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed method approach was used for this investigation combining quantitative and qualitative research methods to provide more depth to the analysis. Both interviews and online surveys were conducted to determine the perceptions held by both academics and graduates, of the extent and adequacy of sustainability education with NZ university degrees. An extensive review of the literature and the overview of the web sites of the different universities formed the qualitative part of the mixed method research approach to the investigation to determine the state of sustainability education in accounting courses at NZ universities.

Findings

There were mixed views on the current state of sustainability education within NZ university accounting courses. Although there was a general consensus with both groups of participants that a start has been made, the integration is not wide enough and the sustainability education is not in sufficient depth. There were mixed feelings regarding the role that accountants should play in sustainability reporting; however, there was a general consensus around the fact that accountants do have a role to play. Both groups of participants indicated that it is important for sustainability education to be included in accounting courses at NZ universities. Based on the research findings, it appears that universities have to maintain or provide an optional higher undergraduate or post-graduate level paper in sustainability accounting. Evidence from lecturers' personal experience suggest that these courses better develop a student's knowledge of sustainability as they have time to take an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and take a look at “big issues” like how accounting can either support or hinder sustainability directions for businesses and society.

Originality/value

The role that accounting educators play in integrating sustainability education at universities has been a contentious issue with a seemingly large gap between what research has defined as best education practice and what is currently being taught around the world. Although sustainability has formed the subject of extensive research over a number of years, there has been no work performed on the current state of sustainability education in accounting courses at NZ universities. Given the future challenges that NZ managers (and accountants) will face, it is important that universities which form a vital part of NZ society, equip managers (and accountants) to meet these demands. This study on perceptions of different stakeholders in relation to education for sustainable development, therefore, provides really important arguments for why there has to be further developments in this crucial area. The findings indicate that sustainability education by accounting educators is on a very much ad hoc basis. Further research needs to be conducted to drive better educational directions in sustainable development in universities.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2014

Arzu Özsözgün Çalişkan

– The main purpose of this paper is to illustrate the role of accounting and accounting professionals in sustainability by conducting an in-depth literature review.

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19306

Abstract

Purpose

The main purpose of this paper is to illustrate the role of accounting and accounting professionals in sustainability by conducting an in-depth literature review.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a review-based article that does not contain empirical research. A comprehensive literature research was conducted by using online databases of selected scientific publishers and using keywords such as accounting, accounting professionals, sustainability, sustainability reporting and sustainability accounting. In addition to that, web pages of the accounting regulatory bodies and four big audit companies were also investigated.

Findings

Based upon the literature survey, it can be said that there is a lack of defining the relationship between the sustainability concept and accounting and also potential solutions to overcome the problems which create challenges for accounting and accounting professionals.

Research limitations/implications

The only limitation of the study can be explained as it being a literature survey.

Practical implications

It is expected that the results of the paper will appear in several applications among accounting professionals, the firm that they work in, the association of professional accountants, education institutions and all the stakeholders of accounting, especially in countries with the relatively early stage of sustainability practices. The paper may give insight into aforementioned stakeholders of accounting in reformation of accounting toward sustainability.

Originality/value

The main contribution of this paper is to fulfill the gap in the accounting and sustainability literature by suggesting “certified sustainability accountant” credential that is equipped with core knowledge of environmental engineering as a specialized profession to handle the technical accounting problems that are related to sustainability.

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2019

Khaled Hutaibat

This study aims to illustrate an interactive project in an advanced accounting course at a Middle Eastern higher education institution, which introduced students to…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to illustrate an interactive project in an advanced accounting course at a Middle Eastern higher education institution, which introduced students to practical/applied financial and managerial accounting and sustainability reporting and created an element of cognitive dissonance with regard to their financial reporting-biased prior knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

Groups are formed that create fictitious companies and then prepare an annual report for this company. Part of the project is a critical reflection on the experience afterwards. Students needed to critically reflect on their learning experience as part of the project assessment to fulfil the required learning outcomes, as constructive learning needs reflection.

Findings

This project introduced students to practical/applied financial and managerial accounting and sustainability reporting and created an element of cognitive dissonance with regard to their financial reporting-biased prior knowledge. While some students considered the project on financial/managerial accounting and sustainability reporting a beneficial undertaking and felt their disciplinary worldview challenged, others thought it was interesting but still preferred to remain with the primarily financial focus of their discipline.

Originality/value

The project was undertaken to allow students to engage with their disciplinary material, both conventional and sustainability reporting-related, in a constructive learning manner.

Details

Journal of International Education in Business, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-469X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 7 June 2021

Alessandro Lai and Riccardo Stacchezzini

This paper aims to trace subsequent steps of the sustainability reporting evolution in terms of changes in the organisation fields and professional jurisdictions involved…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to trace subsequent steps of the sustainability reporting evolution in terms of changes in the organisation fields and professional jurisdictions involved. As such, it highlights the (interrelated) organisational and professional challenges associated with the progressive incorporation of “sustainability” within corporate reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on Suddaby and Viale’s (2011) theorisation of how professionals reshape organisational fields to highlight how organisational spaces, actors, rules and professional capital evolve alongside the incorporation of sustainability within corporate reporting.

Findings

The paper shows organisational spaces, actors, rules and professional capital mobilised during the recent evolution of sustainability reporting, starting from a period in which there was no space for sustainability, to more recent periods in which sustainability gained increasing momentum beyond initial niches, and culminating in more integrated forms of sustainability reporting.

Research limitations/implications

Although the analysis is limited to empirical evidence collected by prior research and practice on sustainability reporting, the paper offers a view to imagine how the incorporation of sustainability within corporate reporting relies on and affects organisational fields and professional jurisdictions.

Originality/value

The paper offers a lens to interpret corporate and professional challenges associated with the more recent evolutions of sustainability reporting practice and standard setting. It also allows framing the papers accepted in the special issue on “new challenges in sustainability reportingand concludes by suggesting an agenda for future research.

Details

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

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