Exploring integrated thinking in integrated reporting – an exploratory study in Australia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Integrated thinking is central to the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC’s) integrated reporting (IR) framework, which is in turn is related to a potential resurgence of intellectual capital (IC) reporting. However, it remains unclear how key IR stakeholders understand this concept in theory or practice. The purpose of this paper is to explore how key stakeholders interpret integrated thinking; and how pilot organizations are applying integrated thinking in practice. Design/methodology/approach: The study involved in-depth semi-structured interviews with key IR stakeholders in Australia, including two IR pilot organizations, one professional association, an accounting professional body, an accounting firm and two IIRC officials. Findings: First, the IIRC has not fully defined and articulated the concept of integrated thinking, and there is no shared consensus among practitioners. Second, there is evidence of an evolving understanding of integrated thinking within practice. What remains unclear is how this understanding will develop over time. Research limitations/implications: Since interviews were conducted with a relatively small sample of participants in Australia, the results may not be generalizable across different contexts. The study emphasizes the need to interpret carefully IR’s potential contribution to organizational practice through either reporting in general, or IC reporting in particular. Originality/value: Despite the centrality of integrated thinking to IR, there has been limited research to date on the concept. Clarifying what integrated thinking means in practice can improve our understanding of a key IR concept, and can advance our understanding of IR’s potential to improve IC reporting and research.

LanguageEnglish
Pages330-353
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Intellectual Capital
Volume18
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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stakeholder
Exploratory study
Integrated
professional association
interview
firm
methodology
evidence
Values
Intellectual capital
Stakeholders
time
Professional associations
Small sample
Structured interview
Accounting firms
Centrality
Organizational practices
Design methodology

Cite this

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Exploring integrated thinking in integrated reporting – an exploratory study in Australia. / Feng, Tianyuan; Cummings, Lorne; Tweedie, Dale.

In: Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 18, No. 2, 2017, p. 330-353.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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