Integrated reporting: Much ado about nothing?

By | 2022-02-03T12:13:16+01:00 February 3rd, 2022|

Brigitte de Graaff, Bert Steens, Kees Camfferman / Financial Reporting / 2-2021

Integrated reporting, which helps companies to share their value creation processes with their stakeholders, has developed rapidly in recent years. Due to the increased attention paid to the International Integrated Reporting Framework is-sued by the International Integrated Reporting Council, the number of companies worldwide engaging in integrated reporting is continually rising, which is presumably driven by the claimed benefits of this practice. Through recourse to legitimacy theory and management fashion theory, here we provide a preliminary assessment of the development of integrated reporting, alongside considering the potential influence of academic research in its growth. We review the existing body of academic literature on this topic, ultimately identifying 123 claims about the benefits of IR from 29 papers published in 15 journals between May 2011 and September 2016, before proceeding to analyse both the sources and the level of substantiation of these claims. Our findings suggest that only a few of the purported ad-vantages of integrated reporting are supported by actual empirical evidence, while most of the claims only cite a limited number of primary sources. Based on these results and our assessment of the development of the concept of IR, we propose a future research agenda.


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The assurance of non-financial disclosure: A longitudinal analysis of the academic and professional literature

By | 2022-02-03T11:50:09+01:00 February 3rd, 2022|

Michele Guidi, Marco Giuliani, Maria Serena Chiucchi, Stefano Marasca

/ Financial Reporting / 2-2021

Various studies argue that non-financial information is particularly relevant for business stakeholders. To reduce the risks related to information asymmetries and “window dressing” practices and to enhance the credibility of non-financial information, the need for assurance has arisen. In recent years, scientific and professional interest in the issues related to the assurance of non-financial information has increased. Up to now, there have been very few studies on the evolution of non-financial disclosure (NFD) assurance, nor have scholars addressed the possible gaps and future research perspectives in this field. A systematic review is developed with the following aims: first, to explore the evolution of the NFD assurance literature by systematising academic studies (i.e., papers published in scientific journals) and professional contributions (i.e., papers published in non-scientific sources) from the auditing field, and second, to understand whether theory and practice have influenced each other in the field of NFD assurance, i.e., whether a bridge between theory and practice can be identified within this discourse. The main findings are the following: firstly, four stages can be identified in the evolution of the study of NFD assurance, and secondly, there is virtually no interaction between theory and practice, as practically no scientific papers are mentioned in professional papers, while academic scholars consider professional publications only as empirical data sources.


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Systematic literature network analysis in accounting: A first application on integrated reporting research

By | 2020-02-11T12:09:52+01:00 February 11th, 2020|

Comerio Niccolò, Tettamanzi Patrizia / Financial Reporting / 2-2019

Over the past decade, we have been witnessing an exponential growth in the number of publications on Integrated Reporting, with the aim of exploring challenges, opportunities and implications of its adoption. Given the abundance of studies, which are often characterized by conflicting evidences, it can be complex to pinpoint all the seminal works already published: it raises the need to develop methodologies which can help to screen the existing literature and to detect the articles which contribute the most to the scientific research. However, little is known about structured approaches in accounting studies: thus, in order to extract the backbones of the research tradition on Integrated Reporting, in this paper we apply the dynamic literature review method called “Systematic Literature Network Analysis”, which combines systematic literature review and bibliographic network analysis. Furthermore, our findings confirm how this methodology may be exploited as a research tool to support dynamic analyses for drawing agendas for future research in the accounting fields of study.

integrated report, literature review, systematic literature network analysis

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