Sustainability reporting and interactive storytelling: A genre approach for humanising business

Laura Corazza*, Alessio Antonini, John Dumay, Maurizio Cisi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In recent years, financial accounting has seen a trend toward reporting in the form of narratives, while sustainability disclosures are increasingly falling under the influence of numerical reductionism. An all-pervasive mantra of succinctness and investor-oriented messaging is dominating communications on sustainability through all but a few of the international reporting frameworks, and stakeholders are being removed from a discourse that is itself disappearing. This chapter sets out one possible ending to Freeman et al.’s (Bus Soc, May 2018) quest to bring stakeholders back to the core of accounting narratives. Grounded in the literature on sustainability accounting and relevant studies in the field of human-data interactions, this chapter explores how interactive storytelling can be a way to overcome excessive succinctness and engage stakeholders as both readers and actors in sustainability reporting. Interactive storytelling applied to sustainability reporting creates a new literary genre. It establishes personal engagement and allows the reader to explore data and discover information, making sustainability reports a fruitful tool for humanizing business communications.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHumanizing business
Subtitle of host publicationwhat humanities can say to business
EditorsMichel Dion, R. Edward Freeman, Sergiy D. Dmytriyev
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030722043
ISBN (Print)9783030722036
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameIssues in Business Ethics
ISSN (Print)0925-6733
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1680


  • Interactive storytelling
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Sustainability disclosures


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