Explanatory Factors of Integrated Sustainability and Financial Reporting

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ABSTRACT

The complexity of the business world has led to growing demands being made of companies regarding the information provided on their financial performance, corporate governance and contribution to developing sustainability. In response, some leading companies have begun to publish integrated reporting, in the form of a document providing a coherent summary of this information, thus facilitating stakeholder engagement.

This paper examines the validity of the hypotheses of the theories of agency and of signalling, and analyses the political costs and those borne by owners in voluntarily developing this new type of business document. More specifically, in order to determine their prevalence among the suggested reasons for these paradigms, we analyse the effect of industry concentration, together with other factors, in the development of integrated reporting.

The analysis of a non-balanced sample of 1590 international companies for the years 2008–2010, in which a logistic regression methodology is applied to panel data, reveals the negative impact of industry concentration on the development of a more pluralist report, simultaneously taking into account stakeholders, sustainability and the long-term viewpoint, as well as questions of responsible investment, business ethics and transparency. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment

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