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Corporate sustainability accounting information systems: a contingency-based approach

Corporate sustainability accounting information systems: a contingency-based approach This paper aims to explore the development of sustainability accounting information systems through lens of contingency theory. In this digital age when companies are confronted with massive sets of data, integration of financial and non-financial data, little empirical evidence exists on how sustainability issues are integrated or linked within internal corporate information systems.Design/methodology/approachA questionnaire-based survey, hypothesis testing, principal component methods and hierarchical clustering are used to provide original empirical evidence from major Lithuanian companies.FindingsThe main findings reveal that most companies surveyed include a sustainability strategy in their core strategy, but there is a lack of linkage with measuring and integrating sustainability outcomes within the entirety of corporate financial results. Unexpectedly, the association between stakeholders' involvement and sustainability accounting information system design was not as strong as hypothesized theoretically. Therefore, it deserves further investigation, constituting an important implication for future research. Specifically, three profiles of sustainability accounting information systems were explained, namely, integrated, fragmented and compliance systems.Research limitations/implicationsThe limitations of this study relate to the small sample size, as sustainability-related information is still regarded quite confidential.Practical implicationsThis result could serve as a specific reference for companies to apply integrated sustainability accounting information systems that might serve as a good practice model for companies, however, fragmented and compliance profiles are the prevailing ones.Social implicationsThe findings are important for fostering corporate social responsibility by developing sustainability accounting information systems.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the sustainability accounting and information systems literature by providing empirical evidence linking contingent factors with the development of sustainability accounting information systems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

Corporate sustainability accounting information systems: a contingency-based approach

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/sampj-07-2018-0200
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to explore the development of sustainability accounting information systems through lens of contingency theory. In this digital age when companies are confronted with massive sets of data, integration of financial and non-financial data, little empirical evidence exists on how sustainability issues are integrated or linked within internal corporate information systems.Design/methodology/approachA questionnaire-based survey, hypothesis testing, principal component methods and hierarchical clustering are used to provide original empirical evidence from major Lithuanian companies.FindingsThe main findings reveal that most companies surveyed include a sustainability strategy in their core strategy, but there is a lack of linkage with measuring and integrating sustainability outcomes within the entirety of corporate financial results. Unexpectedly, the association between stakeholders' involvement and sustainability accounting information system design was not as strong as hypothesized theoretically. Therefore, it deserves further investigation, constituting an important implication for future research. Specifically, three profiles of sustainability accounting information systems were explained, namely, integrated, fragmented and compliance systems.Research limitations/implicationsThe limitations of this study relate to the small sample size, as sustainability-related information is still regarded quite confidential.Practical implicationsThis result could serve as a specific reference for companies to apply integrated sustainability accounting information systems that might serve as a good practice model for companies, however, fragmented and compliance profiles are the prevailing ones.Social implicationsThe findings are important for fostering corporate social responsibility by developing sustainability accounting information systems.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the sustainability accounting and information systems literature by providing empirical evidence linking contingent factors with the development of sustainability accounting information systems.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jun 6, 2019

Keywords: Strategy; Information systems; Contingent factors; Sustainability accounting; Principal component methods

References