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Is integrated reporting transformative?

Is integrated reporting transformative? This paper aims to generate insights about the transformative potential of integrated reporting by exploring organisational adoption of non-financial reporting design archetypes available in the field.Design/methodology/approachDrawing on the concept of design archetype, this study conducts an exploratory interpretative based on qualitative semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis. The study is based on the Spanish integrated reporting field.FindingsThis study reveals that IIRC framework lacks the transformative potential to become an environmental disturbance for corporate reporting practice. It explains how organisations, in their attempt to seek coherence with underlying interpretative schemes, change their structural arrangements (structure, processes and systems) to adopt sustainability and integrated reporting design archetypes available in the field. Though organisational differences are portrayed, the transition from a sustainability-reporting archetype to an integrated-reporting archetype does not seem to be easily achieved.Research limitations/implicationsDue to its exploratory nature, further investigation of the transformative potential of integrated reporting is needed to address intra-organisational factors such as internal stakeholder interests, organisational values, individual or collective agency to embed interpretative schemes into structural arrangements, and technical and managerial capabilities enabling action.Practical implicationsFindings inform practitioners and policymakers about the hindrances to integrated reporting implementation to be considered for prospective regulation and standardisation.Social implicationsThe study reflects on the difficulties for both mainstreaming sustainability to influence decision-making and developing reporting archetypes coherent with integrated thinking.Originality/valueBy focusing on archetype design, the paper provides insights to assess the transformative potential of integrated reporting. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal Emerald Publishing

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2040-8021
DOI
10.1108/sampj-12-2017-0156
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper aims to generate insights about the transformative potential of integrated reporting by exploring organisational adoption of non-financial reporting design archetypes available in the field.Design/methodology/approachDrawing on the concept of design archetype, this study conducts an exploratory interpretative based on qualitative semi-structured interviews and documentary analysis. The study is based on the Spanish integrated reporting field.FindingsThis study reveals that IIRC framework lacks the transformative potential to become an environmental disturbance for corporate reporting practice. It explains how organisations, in their attempt to seek coherence with underlying interpretative schemes, change their structural arrangements (structure, processes and systems) to adopt sustainability and integrated reporting design archetypes available in the field. Though organisational differences are portrayed, the transition from a sustainability-reporting archetype to an integrated-reporting archetype does not seem to be easily achieved.Research limitations/implicationsDue to its exploratory nature, further investigation of the transformative potential of integrated reporting is needed to address intra-organisational factors such as internal stakeholder interests, organisational values, individual or collective agency to embed interpretative schemes into structural arrangements, and technical and managerial capabilities enabling action.Practical implicationsFindings inform practitioners and policymakers about the hindrances to integrated reporting implementation to be considered for prospective regulation and standardisation.Social implicationsThe study reflects on the difficulties for both mainstreaming sustainability to influence decision-making and developing reporting archetypes coherent with integrated thinking.Originality/valueBy focusing on archetype design, the paper provides insights to assess the transformative potential of integrated reporting.

Journal

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 9, 2019

Keywords: Qualitative research; Structure; Accounting and organizational change; Design archetypes; Interpretive schemes; Sustainability and integrated reporting

References