Entitlements and time: integrated reporting's double-edged agenda

Dale Tweedie*, Nonna Martinov-Bennie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract: This paper argues that the Integrated Reporting (IR) framework developed by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is double-edged from a critical sustainability perspective. The paper is based on qualitative content analysis of public documents from four leading non-financial reporting organisations: the IIRC, the Accounting for Sustainability Project, the Global Reporting Initiative and the King Committee on Corporate Governance in South Africa. This analysis shows that IR moves away from three key tenets of prior social and environmental reporting frameworks by privileging: (i) communication over holding organisations accountable, (ii) organisational over social sustainability and (iii) the entitlements of providers of financial capital over other stakeholders. Yet, IR is also a practical attempt to shift financial capital from a short-term to long-term investment horizon. As critical social and accounting theorists have argued, extensive short-term investment is a threat to environmental and social sustainability. Hence, IR has the potential to progress sustainability goals if it forms part of a broader re-organisation of capital markets to reward longer term perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalSocial and Environmental Accountability Journal
Volume35
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

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