Integrated Thinking and Sustainability Reporting Assurance: International Evidence

Business Strategy and the Environment, Forthcoming

Posted: 1 Feb 2021 Last revised: 20 Apr 2021

See all articles by Diogenis Baboukardos

Diogenis Baboukardos

Audencia Business School

Musa Mangena

University of Nottingham Business School

Abdullahi Ishola

University of Essex - Essex Business School

Date Written: November 3, 2020

Abstract

Recently, there has been increasing demand by stakeholders for firms to demonstrate how they create value within the context of their operating environment. Consequently, a new reporting approach, Integrated Reporting (IR), was conceptualised with its development linked to the firm’s Integrated Thinking (IT). Yet very little is known about the effects of IT on firms’ reporting decisions. Hence, we investigate whether IT influences firms’ decision to publish an assured sustainability report. Using an international dataset, we find that IT is positively associated with sustainability reporting assurance. We also find that this association is moderated by the type of legal system such that for firms in code law countries, the IT effects are reduced. Nevertheless, the effects of IT remain strong indicating that IT is important for reporting decisions regardless of the firm’s contextual setting. These findings have implications for policy makers and organisations interested in promoting high quality sustainability reporting.

Keywords: Integrated thinking; Sustainability reporting assurance, Integrated reporting, Legal systems, Stakeholder engagement

JEL Classification: M4, Q56

Suggested Citation

Baboukardos, Diogenis and Mangena, Musa and Ishola, Abdullahi, Integrated Thinking and Sustainability Reporting Assurance: International Evidence (November 3, 2020). Business Strategy and the Environment, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3747913

Diogenis Baboukardos (Contact Author)

Audencia Business School ( email )

8 Road Joneliere
BP 31222
Nantes Cedex 3, 44312
France

Musa Mangena

University of Nottingham Business School ( email )

United Kingdom

Abdullahi Ishola

University of Essex - Essex Business School ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

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