Trajectories of Sustainability Reporting by MNCs
University of Amsterdam - University of Amsterdam Business School
June 26, 2009
Journal of World Business, Vol. 45, No. 4, pp. 367-374, 2010
With increasing attention to sustainable business, reporting by Multinational Corporations (MNCs) about the social and environmental dimensions of their activities - alongside their economic impacts - has become rather common. While research has documented sustainability reporting and looked at reports' contents, studies on MNC reporting as institutionalised phenomenon, considering evolving patterns at the firm level, have been lacking. This paper presents developments and trajectories of sustainability reporting by a panel of Fortune Global 250 firms, and also explores MNCs' reporting trends in their sector-specific settings. Using three data points covering a period of nine years, five patterns are found: consistent reporters, late adopters, laggards, inconsistent reporters, and consistent non-reporters. Different dynamics can be seen in the various sectors, with some in which reporting has become established and others where it is more emerging. Many sectors show European frontrunners, particularly when it comes to publishing verified reports at a relatively early stage. Peculiarities and implications for research and practice are discussed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: multinationals, sustainability, sustainability reporting, Fortune Global 250, industry dynamics, institutions, disclosure
JEL Classification: F23, G38, K32, L20, M14, M49, Q20, D21, M1Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: June 26, 2009 ; Last revised: November 24, 2010
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