Determinants of Sustainability Reporting: A Review of Results, Trends, Theory, and Opportunities in an Expanding Field of Research

Journal of Cleaner Production (2013), Vol. 59, pp. 5-21 (doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.07.005)

52 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2013 Last revised: 2 Oct 2013

See all articles by Rüdiger Hahn

Rüdiger Hahn

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf

Michael Kühnen

University of Kassel

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Since the end of the 1990s, sustainability reporting has become an increasingly relevant topic in business and academia. However, literature is still limited in quantity and no major reviews of the latest developments have thus far been presented. This paper provides a review of 178 articles dating from 1999 to 2011 from journals related to business, management, and accounting. Our aim is to identify what determinants of sustainability reporting are examined in the literature and to identify (in)consistencies, gaps, and opportunities for future research. We specifically illuminate factors influencing the adoption, the extent, and the quality of reporting. Based on our findings we provide an otherwise often missing link to theory (especially legitimacy, stakeholder, signaling, and institutional theory). Finally, possible future research themes are discussed by illuminating gaps and underexposed themes in the area of regulation and governance as well as reporting quality and stakeholder perception.

Keywords: sustainability reporting, literature review, determinants, corporate social responsibility reporting, double bottom line, triple bottom line, integrated reporting

Suggested Citation

Hahn, Rüdiger and Kühnen, Michael, Determinants of Sustainability Reporting: A Review of Results, Trends, Theory, and Opportunities in an Expanding Field of Research (2013). Journal of Cleaner Production (2013), Vol. 59, pp. 5-21 (doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.07.005), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2290524

Rüdiger Hahn (Contact Author)

Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf ( email )

Düsseldorf
Germany

Michael Kühnen

University of Kassel ( email )

Fachbereich 07
Nora-Platiel-Straße 4
Kassel, Hessen 34109
Germany

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