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Accountingisation and the narrative (re)turn of business model information in corporate reporting

Accountingisation and the narrative (re)turn of business model information in corporate reporting The debate about whether corporate reports should focus on numbers or narrative is long-standing. The recent push for business model information to be included in corporate reports has revitalised the debate. Many scholars suggest this constitutes a move towards narrative-based reporting. This study aims to investigate the debate and draws a comparison with the juxtaposition of the narrative and rational paradigms. This study also investigates how accountingisation influences the way business model information is presented in corporate reports.Design/methodology/approachThis study analyses data from the financial and non-financial reports from 86 globally listed companies. This study first uses content analysis to code the data. This study then uses a partial least squares-structural equation model to test how accountingisation influences how firms report their business model information.FindingsThis study finds that accountingisation and a rational paradigm shape how companies present information about their business model in their financial and non-financial reports. This suggests that the dominance of quantitative measures in accounting affects even the presentation of narrative-based information. Despite the much-touted shift towards qualitative reporting, this study argues that companies find it difficult to cast off the yoke of a traditional numbers-based mindset.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper contributes to the debate on numbers- versus narrative-based corporate reporting and the workings of narrative and rational paradigms. In it, this study lays out theoretical and empirical findings of accountingisation. This study also makes a case for freeing corporate reports from the shackles of an accountingisation mindset.Originality/valueThis study provides new insights into how companies report information about their business models and the influence of narrative and rational paradigms on financial and non-financial reporting. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change Emerald Publishing

Accountingisation and the narrative (re)turn of business model information in corporate reporting

Accountingisation and the narrative (re)turn of business model information in corporate reporting

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change , Volume 18 (4): 24 – Aug 9, 2022

Abstract

The debate about whether corporate reports should focus on numbers or narrative is long-standing. The recent push for business model information to be included in corporate reports has revitalised the debate. Many scholars suggest this constitutes a move towards narrative-based reporting. This study aims to investigate the debate and draws a comparison with the juxtaposition of the narrative and rational paradigms. This study also investigates how accountingisation influences the way business model information is presented in corporate reports.Design/methodology/approachThis study analyses data from the financial and non-financial reports from 86 globally listed companies. This study first uses content analysis to code the data. This study then uses a partial least squares-structural equation model to test how accountingisation influences how firms report their business model information.FindingsThis study finds that accountingisation and a rational paradigm shape how companies present information about their business model in their financial and non-financial reports. This suggests that the dominance of quantitative measures in accounting affects even the presentation of narrative-based information. Despite the much-touted shift towards qualitative reporting, this study argues that companies find it difficult to cast off the yoke of a traditional numbers-based mindset.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper contributes to the debate on numbers- versus narrative-based corporate reporting and the workings of narrative and rational paradigms. In it, this study lays out theoretical and empirical findings of accountingisation. This study also makes a case for freeing corporate reports from the shackles of an accountingisation mindset.Originality/valueThis study provides new insights into how companies report information about their business models and the influence of narrative and rational paradigms on financial and non-financial reporting.

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Patrizia Di Tullio, Matteo La Torre, John Dumay and Michele Antonio Rea.
ISSN
1832-5912
eISSN
1832-5912
DOI
10.1108/jaoc-09-2020-0144
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The debate about whether corporate reports should focus on numbers or narrative is long-standing. The recent push for business model information to be included in corporate reports has revitalised the debate. Many scholars suggest this constitutes a move towards narrative-based reporting. This study aims to investigate the debate and draws a comparison with the juxtaposition of the narrative and rational paradigms. This study also investigates how accountingisation influences the way business model information is presented in corporate reports.Design/methodology/approachThis study analyses data from the financial and non-financial reports from 86 globally listed companies. This study first uses content analysis to code the data. This study then uses a partial least squares-structural equation model to test how accountingisation influences how firms report their business model information.FindingsThis study finds that accountingisation and a rational paradigm shape how companies present information about their business model in their financial and non-financial reports. This suggests that the dominance of quantitative measures in accounting affects even the presentation of narrative-based information. Despite the much-touted shift towards qualitative reporting, this study argues that companies find it difficult to cast off the yoke of a traditional numbers-based mindset.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper contributes to the debate on numbers- versus narrative-based corporate reporting and the workings of narrative and rational paradigms. In it, this study lays out theoretical and empirical findings of accountingisation. This study also makes a case for freeing corporate reports from the shackles of an accountingisation mindset.Originality/valueThis study provides new insights into how companies report information about their business models and the influence of narrative and rational paradigms on financial and non-financial reporting.

Journal

Journal of Accounting & Organizational ChangeEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 9, 2022

Keywords: Accountingisation; Narrative; Business model; Corporate reports; Non-financial reporting; Rational paradigm

References