A Lot of Icing But Little Cake? Taking Integrated Reporting Forward
Journal of Cleaner Production, Forthcoming
34 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2016
Date Written: February 17, 2016
Integrated reporting has fast emerged as a new accounting practice to help firms understand how they create value and be able to effectively communicate this to external stakeholders. While insightful experiences from the early-adopters of integrated reporting start to accumulate, the development of the field and how integrated reporting may be successfully implemented remains challenging and contested. Several issues are still controversial with no consensus reached on the central purpose about integrated reporting. This paper relies upon a qualitative approach to accomplish two objectives. First, we provide a review of the embryonic academic literature in the integrated reporting field in order to summarize extant knowledge. Second, in response to a gap in the literature on managerial perceptions concerning integrated reporting, we present the sensemaking approaches of three key experts impacting integrated reporting practices at the global level using semi-structured interviews. Our findings suggest that experts perceive the field to be fragmented and believe that most companies currently have weak understanding of the business value of integrated reporting. The experts give insights into how they perceive the field to be progressing despite challenges and on where they see improvements in the diffusion of practices in integrated reporting. Our study contributes to this special issue by reframing the existing implementation challenges of integrated reporting into promising and inclusive research opportunities that align the priorities of both academia and business.
Keywords: Integrated Reporting, IIRC, Corporate Sustainability Reporting, materiality, organizational sensemaking
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