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Published By Emerald

2049-372x
Updated Friday, 22 October 2021

2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Michael Grassmann ◽  
Stephan Fuhrmann ◽  
Thomas W. Guenther

Purpose Credibility concerns regarding integrated reports can harm the intended decrease of information asymmetry between a firm and its investors. Therefore, it is crucial to examine whether voluntary third-party assurance enhances the credibility of integrated reports and, thus, decreases information asymmetry. Furthermore, this study aims to investigate the interaction effect between assurance quality and the disclosed connectivity of the capitals, a distinguishing feature of integrated reports. Design/methodology/approach Content analysis is performed of the 176 assurance statements included in the 269 integrated reports of Forbes Global 2000 firms disclosed from 2013 to 2015 and the 269 integrated reports themselves. Regression analyzes are applied to examine the associations between assurance, the disclosed connectivity of the capitals and information asymmetry. Findings The presence of an assurance statement in an integrated report significantly decreases information asymmetry. Surprisingly, assurance quality is not significantly associated with information asymmetry. However, an interaction analysis reveals that combining high assurance quality with high disclosed connectivity of the capitals allows a significant decrease in information asymmetry. Research limitations/implications The paper demonstrates that the connectivity of the capitals of integrated reports and assurance quality are connected and together are associated with information asymmetry. Practical implications The results imply, both for report preparers and standard setters, that assurance quality is advantageous only when combined with disclosed connectivity of the capitals. Social implications More information on non-financial information measured by the connectivity of the capitals of integrated reporting has an interaction effect together with assurance quality on information asymmetry. Originality/value This paper builds on a unique data set derived from the contents of integrated reports and accompanying assurance statements. Furthermore, it extends the integrated reporting literature by investigating the interaction between assurance quality and the disclosed connectivity of the capitals, which had not previously been examined in combination.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Dominika Hadro ◽  
Justyna Fijałkowska ◽  
Karolina Daszyńska-Żygadło ◽  
Ilze Zumente ◽  
Svetlana Mjakuškina

Purpose This study aims to verify whether non-financial disclosure in the construction industry (CI) responds to stakeholders’ information needs and explores the most frequent topics disclosed in terms of the environmental, social and governance (ESG) pillars. Design/methodology/approach This study uses a bag-of-words method and latent Dirichlet allocation to match stakeholders’ expectations with information disclosed by companies. This paper assesses the publicly available non-financial disclosure of the 46 European CI companies covered by the Refinitiv database with ESG scores. Findings This study provides two main findings. First, it shows the mismatch between stakeholders’ information needs and what they get in non-financial reporting. Despite non-financial information in CI disclosure, the information disclosed by many CI companies does not meet their users’ information needs. CI companies commonly focus on their sustainable products and health policy while omitting other topics of interest – the circular economy, unethical business behaviour, migrant policy and human trafficking. Second, this study indicates the defects of simple disclosure analysis based on keywords and highlights the importance of context in information analysis. Practical implications The proposed novel approach to text analysis offers several practical applications. It is a more effective tool for evaluating companies’ sustainability performance. It may be especially important to ESG rating providers. Additionally, the results may be of interest to companies wishing to improve their communication, and, in particular, to regulators and standard setters in two matters. The first is the need for more pressure to increase awareness among issuers to shift from disclosing large amounts of non-financial information to disclosing good quality non-financial information, which would be appropriate for meeting stakeholders’ expectations. The second is the necessity for deepening issuers’ understanding of the diverse stakeholders’ information needs, considering the substantial differences among industries and improving communication to meet them. Originality/value This study introduces text analysis that, apart from keywords, considers the context of these keywords’ appearances in a report’s narration. It allows a significantly improved understanding of the information disclosed and a more stable grounding for reasoning, leading to better and informed decisions. Moreover, this study verifies how the information disclosed matches stakeholders’ needs. Finally, it enriches the literature on sectoral analysis concerning non-financial disclosure.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Charl de Villiers ◽  
Muhammad Bilal Farooq ◽  
Matteo Molinari

Purpose This study aims to examine the methodological and method-related challenges and opportunities arising from the use of video interviews in qualitative accounting research, focussed on collecting contextual data and visual cues, enriching communication quality and building and maintaining rapport with interviewees. Design/methodology/approach Prior literature and the authors’ experiences using video technologies for research, including conducting interviews, inform this research. This study uses a transactional conceptual refinement of information richness theory and channel expansion theory to critically analyse the challenges and opportunities of using video technology to conduct qualitative research interviews. Findings The ability, need for and significance of collecting contextual data depend on the researchers’ ontological and epistemological assumptions, and are, therefore, influenced by their research design choices. Video technology enables researchers to view research settings by video. In addition, whilst group/panel interviews have their advantages, it is often difficult to get everyone together in person, something video technology can potentially overcome. The feasibility and the quality of video interviews can be improved if both interview participants are experienced with using video technology, as well as with judicious investment in good quality video technology and through testing and practice. We also discuss how rapport building with interviewees can be facilitated by overcoming the video’s sense of disconnect and enhancing interviewees’ willingness to engage. Originality/value The study builds on the limited prior literature and considers the challenges and opportunities related to methodology and method when conducting video-based qualitative interviews in accounting research. Broadly, qualitative researchers will find the paper useful in considering the use of video interviews and in making research design choices appropriate for video interviews.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Ruzita Jusoh ◽  
Yazkhiruni Yahya ◽  
Suria Zainuddin ◽  
Kaveh Asiaei

Purpose Drawing on the natural resource-based view (NRBV) of the firm, this study aims to investigate the mediating role of sustainability performance management (SPM) practices in the relationship between corporate sustainability strategy (SS) and sustainability performance (SP). The conceptualization of SS and SPM practices follow the NRBV resources and capabilities to promote sustainability for competitiveness. Design/methodology/approach Data for the study were collected through a questionnaire from 114 small-medium to large organizations within environmentally sensitive industries operating in Malaysia. Findings The results indicate the indirect relationship between SS and SP through SPM practices. The results suggest that SS can only be realized through a broader management accounting control system (such as SPM practices) that provides information to generate, analyze and control environmental, social, economic and governance performance. Practical implications As some organizations may face their resource constraints, this study may help managers and management accountants prioritize their focus on SS and adopt the necessary SPM practices to enhance their SP. Originality/value This study sheds new light on the role of the SPM practices adopted by firms to manage their SS.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Francesca Rossignoli ◽  
Riccardo Stacchezzini ◽  
Alessandro Lai

Purpose Given the limited studies that have started to focus on contexts where integrated reporting (IR) is voluntarily adopted, this paper aims to explore the moderating role of institutional characteristics on the association between voluntary report release and analyst forecast accuracy. Design/methodology/approach This study uses a quantitative empirical research method grounded on voluntary disclosure theory to provide empirical evidence on an international sample of companies choosing to release integrated reports. Preliminarily, a cluster analysis is used to group countries according to institutional patterns. Multivariate analyses detect the associations between report release choice and analysts’ forecast accuracy across clusters. Multiple econometric approaches are used to address the endogeneity concerns. Findings IR release is not informative for the market unless considering systematic variations across different institutional settings. Analysts’ forecast is more accurate for IR adopters located in strong institutional enforcement settings than for all the other companies. In the strong institutional setting that is also characterized by a pluralistic society, IR release benefits for the market are conditioned by the fact that the choice to release IR depends on environmental, governance and social disclosure-based managers remuneration and disclosure requirements. In weak institutional settings, IR release is not beneficial for the forecast accuracy. Research limitations/implications Academics and practitioners can gain understanding of the usefulness of voluntary IR across different institutional settings. Originality/value The study advances the understanding of the IR’s informativeness, overcoming the common dichotomous distinctions between strong and weak institutional settings.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Garry D. Carnegie ◽  
Ann Martin-Sardesai ◽  
Lisa Marini ◽  
James Guthrie AM

Purpose The Australian higher education sector faces severe risks from the consequences of COVID-19. This paper aims to explore these risks, their immediate impacts and the likely future impacts. The authors specifically focus on the institutional financial and social risks arising from the global pandemic. Design/methodology/approach The authors collect data using the 2019 annual reports of the 37 Australian public universities and relevant media contributions. The findings of identified sector change are interpreted through Laughlin’s organisational change diagnosis. Findings The sector confronts significant financial and social risks because of its over-reliance on income from fee-paying onshore overseas students resulting in universities primarily undertaking morphostatic changes. These risks include job losses, changing employment conditions, mental health issues for students, scholars, other staff, including casual staff, online learning shortfalls and the student expectations of their university experience. The study reveals how many of these risks are the inevitable consequence of the “accountingisation” of Australian public universities. Practical implications Despite material exposure, the universities provide only limited disclosure of the extent of the risks associated with increasing dependence on overseas student fees to 31 December 2019. The analysis highlights fake accountability and distorted transparency to users of audited financial statements – a major limitation of university annual reports. Originality/value Research on the Australian higher education sector has mainly focussed on the impact of policies and changes. The public disclosure of critical risks taken by these universities are now addressed.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Sandra Khalil ◽  
Rabih Nehme

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to shed light on factors leading to unethical acts committed by auditors from a cultural and gender perspectives. It investigates differences in junior auditors’ attitudes towards audit behavior when a performance evaluation (PE) is anticipated. The objective of this study is to aid academicians and audit executives in developing new models of PE and internship programs that should mitigate dysfunctional behavior. Design/methodology/approach A survey adapted from Big Four companies’ performance appraisal templates was administered to junior accountants who have completed their internship programs and their external audit course at accredited universities in Lebanon and the USA. Several statistical tests were conducted to analyze the relationship between the different variables. Findings This paper shows how PE affects junior auditors’ attitudes to dysfunctional audit behavior (DAB). From a cultural standpoint, American auditors express more negative views towards DAB than their Lebanese counterparts. This paper also demonstrates that female auditors are less inclined towards DAB than male auditors. Originality/value Previous studies on the topic have been mostly conducted in developed countries with a scarcity of studies examining multiple countries. This study focuses on two different cultural contexts, a developed country, the USA and an emerging country, poorly represented in the literature, Lebanon. This paper also observes variances between male and female auditors in DAB when expecting a PE. The originality of this paper stems from its concurrent examination of the impact of gender and culture on DAB by using a sample of less-experienced auditors at the end of their educational path.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Domenico Berdicchia ◽  
Enrico Bracci ◽  
Giovanni Masino

Purpose This study aims to explore the effects of performance management systems’ (PMS) perceived accuracy on employees’ motivation. More specifically, this study draws on motivation crowding theory and self-determination theory to hypothesize the relationships between perceived PMS accuracy and intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and introduce two contextual moderating factors: participation in decision-making and task uncertainty. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected through a questionnaire distributed to a sample of local government employees. Data were collected longitudinally over two measurement waves (T1 and T2), each separated by a four-month lag. Findings The results revealed that perceived PMS accuracy is positively associated with both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, and participation in decision-making and task uncertainty both positively moderate the relationship between perceived PMS accuracy and extrinsic motivation. Originality/value This study contributes to clarifying the relevance of perceived PMS accuracy and the role played by significant contextual variables and offers recommendations to help design and implement PMS more effectively.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Hang Ngoc My Le ◽  
Hang Ngoc My Le ◽  
Brendan Thomas O’Connell ◽  
Maryam Safari

Purpose Drawing from Upper-Echelons Theory (UET), this paper aims to examine whether an increasing number of board members studying and working overseas, especially in Anglo countries, provides some impetus for increased corporate environmental disclosures (CED) in Vietnam. Design/methodology/approach This study used quantitative data collection and analysis. The data collection involved a content analysis of annual, sustainability and integrated reports to capture the quality and quantity of CED. The authors subsequently developed ordered probit models to quantitatively test the hypotheses. Findings The authors find that board members studying in Anglo countries positively impact firms’ levels of CED in emerging economies. However, overseas work experience is found to be an insignificant explanatory variable. Further, the findings suggest that, in Vietnam, Chairs appear to be more influential than chief executive officers in affecting CED levels. Practical implications Despite the positive influence of overseas study, the authors find overall levels of CED in Vietnam remain relatively low. This suggests the necessity of dialogue about potential reform in CED policies, which could involve the introduction of mandatory reporting requirements. In addition, to enhance sustainability disclosures, shareholders should appoint board members who possess international qualifications. Originality/value This study adds to the literature exploring the impacts of Anglo cultural traits of board members on CED levels, within an economy transitioning from a communist ideology to a market-oriented system context. The connection between international study and cultural norms, beliefs and traditions in these countries and their positive influence on directors’ values and attitudes towards CED have not yet been studied. The study also extends UET by examining the potential positive influence of different national contexts on board members’ education levels.


2021 ◽  
Vol ahead-of-print (ahead-of-print) ◽  
Author(s):  
Pawan Taneja ◽  
Ameeta Jain ◽  
Mahesh Joshi ◽  
Monika Kansal

Purpose Since 2013, the Indian Companies Act Section 135 has mandated corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting by Indian central public sector enterprises (CPSEs). CSR reporting is regulated by multiple Government of India ministerial agencies, each requiring different formats and often different data. This study aims to understand the impact of these multiple regulatory bodies on CSR reporting by Indian CPSEs; evaluate the expectation gap between regulators and the regulated; and investigate the compliance burden on CPSEs. Design/methodology/approach An interview-based approach was adopted to evaluate the perspectives of both regulators and regulated CPSEs on the impact of the new regulations on CSR reporting quality. The authors use the lens of institutional theory to analyse the findings. Findings Driven by coercive institutional pressures, CPSEs are overburdened with myriad reporting requirements, which significantly negatively impact CPSEs’ financial and human resources and the quality of CSR activity and reports. It is difficult for CPSEs to assess the actual impact of their CSR activities due to overlapping with activities of the government/other institutions. The perceptions of regulators and the regulated are divergent: the regulators expect CPSEs to select more impactful CSR projects to comply with mandatory reporting requirements. Originality/value The findings of this study emphasise the need for meaningful dialogue between regulators and the regulated to reduce the expectation gap and establish a single regulatory authority that will ensure that the letter and spirit of the law are followed in practice and not just according to a tick-box approach.


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