The purpose of this paper is to answer the following research question: What are the key factors of the participatory process for establishing sustainability reporting in German universities?Design/methodology/approachTo answer the research question, this study uses qualitative methodology, following the grounded theory approach and triangulation of qualitative methods for accessing data.FindingsThe findings show that universities face a high level of difficulty in introducing sustainability reporting, which has an external and an internal dimension.Originality/valueThis paper contributes to the understanding of sustainability reporting processes of universities from an internal perspective, specifically through experts who are involved in the preparation of sustainability reports. Furthermore, it delivers insights for a theory-based discussion, which may support universities in starting sustainability reporting activities and improving reporting processes.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 4, 2019
Keywords: Grounded theory; Sustainability reporting; German higher education institutions; German universities; Organizational change management; Sustainability code for higher education institutions
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