Does the Integrated Reporting’s definition of human capital fit with the HR manager’s perspective?

Maurizio Cisi, Francesca Alice Centrone, Laura Corazza  / Financial Reporting / 2-2020


The assessment of the organisation’s ability to create value over time through its human capital (HC) is crucial for every business. Several definitions of HC exist, quite ambiguous and not unique. This fuzziness is impacting, in turn, the business practice. This study is grounded on the concept of HC, as defined by the Integrated Reporting (IR) and it is focused on testing the self-identification of HR managers with the IR definition. With this work, authors want to question the inclusivity of the definition of HC, as well as, its practical suitability, recurring to a theoretical framework called dialogic-polylogic accounting. A first exploration of the HC definition from the IR framework has been con-ducted, representing the cause-effect links and some reflections on its semantics. Furthermore, the opinion of a purposive sample of key informants HR managers is explored through a qualitative content analysis on 19 semi-structured interviews. Such key informants have a first-hand knowledge about the community of Italian HR managers, and they have no experience in IR representing the voice of excluded, but potential users. Despite an initial sympathetic reaction, the HC practitioners stressed an excessive technical rigidity in IR definition, quite distant from their field experience on HC.

Human capital definition, Integrated Reporting, human resources, dialogic-polylogic accounting, non-financial reporting.


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By | 2020-12-22T19:05:30+02:00 December 22nd, 2020|0 Comments

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