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Exploring the implications of integrated reporting for social investment (disclosures).

Adams, C.A. and Potter, B. and Singh, P.J. and York, J. (2016) 'Exploring the implications of integrated reporting for social investment (disclosures).', British accounting review., 48 (3). pp. 283-296.


The purpose of this study is to examine the evolution of corporate reporting on social investment activities in the context of a global move toward integrated reporting approaches. The paper adopts both a conceptual and content analysis approach to examining the reports of four multi-national corporations – Heineken, Unilever, Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK), and the National Australia Bank (NAB). We find that the purpose and outcomes of social investments became more clearly articulated and associated with longer term notions of progress, risk and strategy over the period of our study (2009–2013). This applied to all four companies, although only two (NAB and Unilever) had formally committed to the International Integrated Reporting Council’s (IIRC) Pilot Programme. Further, reporting in GSK, Heineken and NAB transformed to telling more human-centred value creation stories. We argue that stewardship theory, isopraxism and isomorphism offer explanatory power for the identified changes in reporting with isomorphism and isopraxism together being useful in explaining differences and similarities in integrated approaches to corporate reporting.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.
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Publisher statement:© 2016 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Date accepted:26 May 2016
Date deposited:13 June 2016
Date of first online publication:27 May 2016
Date first made open access:27 May 2018

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