Prioritizing Sustainability Issues: Insights From Corporate Managers about Key Decision-Makers, Reporting Models, and Stakeholder Communications

Johnson, J. A., S. G. Sutton, and J. C. Theis. 2020. Prioritizing Sustainability Issues: Insights from Corporate Managers about Key Decision-Makers, Reporting Models, and Stakeholder Communications. Accounting and the Public Interest. 20 (1): 28-60. https://doi.org/10.2308/API-19-018

55 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2018 Last revised: 4 Aug 2022

See all articles by Joseph A. Johnson

Joseph A. Johnson

University of South Carolina - Department of Accounting

Steve G. Sutton

University of Central Florida; NHH Norwegian School of Economics

Jochen Theis

University of Southern Denmark

Date Written: June 24, 2019

Abstract

Capital constraints require companies to prioritize among the host of sustainability issues to which they can allocate capital. In this study, we investigate the role of three important factors that can affect this prioritization process: key decision-makers, sustainability reporting models, and stakeholder communications. We investigate these factors through the lenses of economic theory (i.e., the shareholder value approach), stakeholder theory, and enlightened stakeholder theory by collecting survey evidence from 104 managers in the resource transformation sector who are involved in or familiar with their company’s prioritization process. This study contributes to the literature by providing important insights into companies’ internal decision-making processes regarding sustainability issue prioritization.

Keywords: Corporate Governance, Sustainability, Corporate Social Responsibility, Capital Allocations

JEL Classification: G34, M14, M41

Suggested Citation

Johnson, Joseph A. and Sutton, Steve G. and Sutton, Steve G. and Theis, Jochen, Prioritizing Sustainability Issues: Insights From Corporate Managers about Key Decision-Makers, Reporting Models, and Stakeholder Communications (June 24, 2019). Johnson, J. A., S. G. Sutton, and J. C. Theis. 2020. Prioritizing Sustainability Issues: Insights from Corporate Managers about Key Decision-Makers, Reporting Models, and Stakeholder Communications. Accounting and the Public Interest. 20 (1): 28-60. https://doi.org/10.2308/API-19-018, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3157152 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3157152

Joseph A. Johnson

University of South Carolina - Department of Accounting ( email )

The Francis M. Hipp Building
1705 College Street
Columbia, SC 29208
United States

Steve G. Sutton

University of Central Florida ( email )

4000 Central Florida Blvd
Orlando, FL 32816
United States

NHH Norwegian School of Economics ( email )

Helleveien 30
Bergen, NO-5045
Norway

Jochen Theis (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark

Universitetsparken 1
DK-6000 Kolding, 6000
Denmark

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