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Article
Publication date: 22 August 2019

Daniela Argento, Giuseppe Grossi, Kamilla Persson and Theres Vingren

The purpose of this paper is to explore the content of the sustainability reports of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the factors influencing the sustainability…

1027

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the content of the sustainability reports of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the factors influencing the sustainability information they disclose.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing upon the literature on sustainability disclosure, institutional logics and hybrid organizations, several hypotheses were deduced. By means of a quantitative content analysis, the sustainability disclosure index of 45 Swedish SOEs was calculated. Statistical analyses were conducted to test which variables affected the sustainability disclosures of the selected SOEs.

Findings

The findings reveal that only state ownership and corporate size significantly affect SOEs’ sustainability disclosures. Fully state-owned SOEs disclose less sustainability information than partially state-owned SOEs. Large SOEs disclose more sustainability information than small SOEs. However, there are weak indications that having a public policy assignment (PPA) (activity) negatively influences environmental sustainability disclosures, and that having a majority of female directors on the board decreases the total sustainability information disclosed. In addition, the statistical analyses show that having state representatives on the board and being profitable may positively affect the disclosures.

Originality/value

Accountability is particularly important in SOEs, and their complex hybrid nature has an impact on sustainability disclosures in a surprising way. State ownership and control do not necessarily imply an increased amount of sustainability disclosure.

Abstract

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Article
Publication date: 19 November 2021

Qichun Wu, Fumitaka Furuoka and Shu Chui Lau

The importance of board composition, especially female directors’ presence on boards, is thought to influence corporate responsibility performance, has attracted…

Abstract

Purpose

The importance of board composition, especially female directors’ presence on boards, is thought to influence corporate responsibility performance, has attracted significant scholarly interest. This study aims to examine how board gender diversity (BGD) affects corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance and the moderating factors that influence the relationship. There is a lack of research on the moderating indicators (variable measurement, geographic location, data sets and gender parity score) that impact the BGD and CSR relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses content analysis and meta-analysis to combine the findings of 44 selected papers published from 2010 to 2019, comprehensively reviewing the academic literature on gender diversity in the board composition. Independent and dependent variables are classified based on the variable measurement; this study examines the moderator indicators, such as geographical location, research data sets and gender parity score to investigate the BGD and CSR relationship.

Findings

The findings indicated a significant positive relationship between BGD and CSR performance. The meta-method results showed that the measurements of BGD and CSR limited to impact on the relationship. But a significant moderating effect of the geographical location on the BGD-CSR relationship, the BGD-CSR relationship would be stronger in the firms located in North America than firms located in Asia and other areas. Empirical results also showed a significant moderating effect of gender parity score. There would be stronger BGD-CSR relations in the firms located in the countries with higher gender parity score than the firms located in the countries with low gender parity score. This means the female status is an essential indicator of moderating the BGD-CSR relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The main shortcoming is a lack of sufficient articles on the BGD-CSR relationship. In a future study, researchers may use other databases, such as Google scholar or Ebscohost, to increase the number of relevant articles. These studies would offer new insight into the meta-analysis of the relationship between the BGD and CSR. Finally, the authors identify the potential trend in future research, future research on BGD will need for standardized metrics. The Geographic location is an important indicator that will influence the female director role in CSR. A systematic measure and data of gender research are more important for study in this field.

Practical implications

Meta-analysis is conducted on the independent and dependent variables to examine the causality between BGD and CSR performance, which could better explore diversity among different countries’ boards and, more generally, to investigate the degree to which diversity may influence CSR. Firms may try to balance the BGD to improve future development prospects. Specifically, the results of this study have important implications for corporate governance and policymakers.

Social implications

First, this systematic study uses meta-analysis to combine the findings of previous research on the BGD-CSR. The current research attempts to incorporate mixed empirical results based on the different variable measurements. Second, this study develop and test a contingency model of female on boards and CSR that considers uses the geographic location factors that may enhance or diminish the influence of female on boards on CSR. Specifically, the authors examine whether and under what conditions, boards with more female directors differ for inter-country heterogeneity to which they engage in monitoring roles and are involved with strategy management.

Originality/value

First, this study could be the first systematic study that uses the meta-analysis to combine previous research findings on the BGD-CSR. Second, the current research attempts to incorporate mixed empirical results based on the different variable measurements. Third, this study uses the “gender parity score” to account for inter-country heterogeneity in the BGD-CSR relationship. This study also identifies the potential trend in future research.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 45 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 July 2020

Kathyayini Kathy Rao and Carol Tilt

Within the board diversity literature, the issue of gender diversity has been extensively studied, however, limited research has examined whether gender diversity at board…

Abstract

Purpose

Within the board diversity literature, the issue of gender diversity has been extensively studied, however, limited research has examined whether gender diversity at board level has any influence on corporate social responsibility (CSR) decisions. This paper aims to fill this knowledge gap and shed light on whether, and how, gender diversity influences CSR related decisions.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 13 in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with board members of Australian companies to examine their perceptions of the effect of gender diversity.

Findings

Although the findings show evidence that there is a general perception that gender diversity has the potential to influence board level decisions, this does not appear to translate to CSR decisions specifically. The results from the interviews identified that several issues and moderating factors interact with the gender-CSR relationship.

Research limitations/implications

The paper contributes significantly to the body of knowledge by going beyond the plethora of quantitative analyses. The results suggest that there is much work to be done to improve governance policy and mechanisms if boards are to see the potential for gender to have a positive impact on CSR decision-making.

Originality/value

The study responds to calls for more research adopting qualitative studies, including interviews and case studies, to understand the complex interactions that take place during board decision-making. The findings provide useful insights for future research, practise and policymakers.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Open Access
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…

2049

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 reporting” and concludes by suggesting an agenda for future research.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2021

Floriana Fusco, Renato Civitillo, Paolo Ricci, Sylwia Morawska, Katarzyna Pustułka and Przemysław Banasik

That on accountability in public organizations is quite an old debate. Its introduction in judicial systems is, however, still viewed with some suspicion, due to its…

Abstract

Purpose

That on accountability in public organizations is quite an old debate. Its introduction in judicial systems is, however, still viewed with some suspicion, due to its potential trade-off with independence and impartiality. Nevertheless, the need to respond to the demands for greater transparency and accountability has also pushed judicial organizations to establish a dialogue with a wide range of subjects. This study aims to explore the understanding and the current practices of sustainability reporting currently in place in judicial systems.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a comparative approach, conducting an online survey in two European countries (Italy and Poland). The survey was built around the research questions and literature and administered between February and March 2020. Specifically, 804 courts were involved, of which 430 are in Italy and 374 in Poland.

Findings

Findings show that the current practices are still not widespread and there is still a lack of understanding of what sustainability reporting is, and therefore, of what its potential usefulness within the courts could be. Moreover, many differences between the two countries are pointed out, so it is possible to assume that the different cultural and institutional settings influence sustainability reporting practices. Finally, some interesting implications for policymakers are provided.

Originality/value

Judicial organizations are still poorly investigated in the literature, despite being at the center of a wide public and political debate. Moreover, the international comparative perspective adopted constitutes a further aspect of novelty.

Details

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

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 23 February 2022

Davide Giacomini, Diego Paredi and Alessandro Sancino

This paper aims to understand stakeholders' sentiments with respect to company policies in the water utilities (WU) sector and to explore if and how these sentiments could…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand stakeholders' sentiments with respect to company policies in the water utilities (WU) sector and to explore if and how these sentiments could be a source for organisational learning.

Design/methodology/approach

This study investigates the use of social media in WUs’ and stakeholders’ reactions as a source of data for organisational learning. This paper relies on a mixed-methods approach based on sentiment analysis of Facebook (FB) pages and semi-structured interviews with sustainability managers from a sample of Italian WUs.

Findings

Findings show that WUs increasingly use FB mainly to promote and disclose environmental issues and as a source of information for organisational learning. A longitudinal analysis of environmental disclosure via FB reveals a growing trend of both companies’ posts and stakeholder interactions and significant differences among organisations in their ways of using information and knowledge obtained from social media.

Originality/value

Theoretically, this paper builds an original link between disclosure via social media and organisational learning processes. Empirically, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first studies to identify the quantity and quality of environmental disclosure via FB and the related stakeholders’ reactions.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 22 June 2021

Joshua Maine, Emilia Florin Samuelsson and Timur Uman

Drawing on paradox theory, this study explores how ambidextrous sustainability relates to organisational performance in hybrid organisations represented by Swedish…

1929

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on paradox theory, this study explores how ambidextrous sustainability relates to organisational performance in hybrid organisations represented by Swedish municipal housing corporations, and how this relationship is contingent on the organisational structure of these organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study relies on the data collected from Swedish municipal housing corporations. These data sources consist of a survey sent to the management team members in Swedish municipal housing corporations, financial and non-financial archival data on these corporations, interviews with the management team and board members, and observations of meetings involving the management team and board of directors at a Swedish municipal housing corporation. Quantitative data of the study were analysed using descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and linear multiple regression analysis. Qualitative data were analysed employing deductive thematic analysis and were used to illustrate and discuss the results of the quantitative analysis.

Findings

The quantitative findings show that ambidextrous sustainability, i.e. the alignment between an explorative orientation and an exploitative orientation towards sustainability, has a weakly positive relationship with financial performance and a positive relationship with social performance in hybrid organisations represented by Swedish municipal housing corporations. The study further shows that a high level of the structural element “connectedness” weakened the relationship between the ambidextrous sustainability and financial performance of the organisation in the study. In contrast, a lower level of connectedness reinforced and strengthened this relationship. Our qualitative material illustrates how the quantitative findings could be explained by the interaction between the board of directors and the management team of these hybrid organisations.

Originality/value

The study shows how ambidextrous sustainability, employed for conceptualisation of the sustainability strategy in hybrid organisations, represented by Swedish municipal housing corporations, can impact on facets of performance (i.e. financial, social and environmental) differently. The study further highlights the importance of organisational structures in these relationships in a hybrid context.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 August 2020

Francesca Manes-Rossi, Giuseppe Nicolò, Adriana Tiron Tudor and Gianluca Zanellato

This paper aims to explore the emerging phenomenon of integrated reporting (IR) in the context of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and proposes a longitudinal analysis of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the emerging phenomenon of integrated reporting (IR) in the context of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and proposes a longitudinal analysis of the level of IR disclosure (IRD) provided by a sample of European SOEs for the period 2013–2017, in accordance with IR framework requirements. The study also proposes an analysis of the possible explanatory factors driving the level of IRD. Specific attention is devoted to examine the influence exerted by the public ownership on the level of IRD provided by SOEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The IRs published by a balanced sample of 18 European SOEs between 2013 and 2017 were examined through a manual content analysis. Several analyzes were performed to assess the relationship between the level of IRD provided by SOEs and some possible determinants.

Findings

Results show an increasing level of disclosure during the observed period, confirming the relevance of IR as a tool for transparency and accountability within the context of SOEs. Statistical analyzes show that government ownership, external assurance, investor protection and global reporting initiative guidelines adoption positively affect the level of IRD, while SOE size exerts a negative influence.

Originality/value

As this paper examines a context which has been under-investigated, it presents fresh knowledge about the evolution of IR adoption by European SOEs. Furthermore, this paper identifies some of the explanatory factors that drive the preparation of IR, thus providing international integrated reporting council, policymakers and standard-setters with the relevant information for inclusion in specific guidelines for IR by SOEs.

Details

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

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 15 December 2021

Giuseppe Grossi, Jarmo Vakkuri and Massimo Sargiacomo

Drawing upon theoretical insights on value creation perspectives, the authors aim to advance the understanding of performance and accountability in different hybrid organisations.

1378

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon theoretical insights on value creation perspectives, the authors aim to advance the understanding of performance and accountability in different hybrid organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conceptualise common theoretical origins of hybrid organisations and how they create and enact value, by reflecting on the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (AAAJ) special issue articles. Furthermore, the authors propose an agenda for future research into accounting, performance and accountability for hybrid organisations.

Findings

Hybrid organisations can be conceptualised through their approaches to value creation (mixing, compromising and legitimising). This article provides a more detailed understanding of accounting, performance and accountability changes in hybrid organisations.

Practical implications

This contribution also has relevant practical implications for actors, such as politicians, managers, professionals, auditors, controllers and accountants, encased in various hybrid organisations, policy contexts and multi-faceted interfaces between public, private and civil society.

Originality/value

Hybridity lenses reveal novel connections between different types of hybrid organisations and how they create and enact multiple values.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

Keywords

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