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The ethical, social and environmental reporting‐performance portrayal gap

The ethical, social and environmental reporting‐performance portrayal gap The purpose of this article is twofold. First, it assesses in detail the extent to which corporate reporting on ethical, social and environmental issues reflects corporate performance in case study company Alpha. This “reporting‐performance” portrayal gap is a key measure of the extent to which an organisation is accountable to its stakeholders. Alpha's disclosures concerning its ethical, social and environmental performance for the years 1993 and 1999 were compared with information obtained on Alpha's performance from other sources. Two different pictures of performance emerged leading to the conclusion that, in the case of Alpha, reports do not demonstrate a high level of accountability to key stakeholder groups on ethical, social and environmental issues. Of particular concern is the lack of “completeness” of reporting. Second, the article assesses the potential of recent standards or guidelines developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility (AccountAbility) as well as the industry's own “responsible care” initiative to reduce this “reporting‐performance” portrayal gap and improve corporate accountability. The conclusions point to the need for other measures to improve accountability including mandatory reporting guidelines, better developed audit guidelines, a mandatory audit requirement for MNCs and a radical overhaul of corporate governance systems. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal Emerald Publishing

The ethical, social and environmental reporting‐performance portrayal gap

Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal , Volume 17 (5): 27 – Dec 1, 2004

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References (29)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0951-3574
DOI
10.1108/09513570410567791
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this article is twofold. First, it assesses in detail the extent to which corporate reporting on ethical, social and environmental issues reflects corporate performance in case study company Alpha. This “reporting‐performance” portrayal gap is a key measure of the extent to which an organisation is accountable to its stakeholders. Alpha's disclosures concerning its ethical, social and environmental performance for the years 1993 and 1999 were compared with information obtained on Alpha's performance from other sources. Two different pictures of performance emerged leading to the conclusion that, in the case of Alpha, reports do not demonstrate a high level of accountability to key stakeholder groups on ethical, social and environmental issues. Of particular concern is the lack of “completeness” of reporting. Second, the article assesses the potential of recent standards or guidelines developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Institute of Social and Ethical AccountAbility (AccountAbility) as well as the industry's own “responsible care” initiative to reduce this “reporting‐performance” portrayal gap and improve corporate accountability. The conclusions point to the need for other measures to improve accountability including mandatory reporting guidelines, better developed audit guidelines, a mandatory audit requirement for MNCs and a radical overhaul of corporate governance systems.

Journal

Accounting Auditing & Accountability JournalEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 1, 2004

Keywords: Management accountability; Financial reporting; Ethical investment; Social responsibility

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