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The state of disclosures on stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting in Australian local councils

The state of disclosures on stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting in Australian... Purpose– This study aims to examine the state and extent of disclosures on stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting in Australian local councils. Design/methodology/approach– Content analysis was used to analyse 23 sustainability/state of environment/annual reports out of a total of 563 local councils (city, shire, district, borough and regional) in Australia for the year 2009-2010 – those found to be using stakeholder engagement in the development of sustainability reports. A stakeholder engagement index was developed on the basis of the literature review to examine the extent of disclosures on stakeholder engagement. Findings– This study identifies: the Australian local councils that are engaging with their stakeholders in the development of sustainability reports; key stakeholders for sustainability reports; extent of engagement; media and approaches used for engagement; and difficulties in the engagement process. The results suggest that stakeholder engagement is an essential component in the development of sustainability reporting as it informs reporters of material concerns, issues and aspirations of key stakeholders. Research limitations/implications– The focus of this paper is the state of disclosures on stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting. The findings of the paper are limited to only one level of governance of the public sector, that is, local councils. Originality/value– International standards such as Global Reporting Initiative and AccountAbility (AA) 1000 have signified the role of stakeholder engagement in the development of sustainability reports. However, there has been a little research that demonstrates whether or not organisations engage with their stakeholders for reporting purposes. This paper provides evidence of stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting in Australian local councils. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Pacific Accounting Review Emerald Publishing

The state of disclosures on stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting in Australian local councils

Pacific Accounting Review , Volume 26 (1/2): 21 – Apr 8, 2014

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0114-0582
DOI
10.1108/PAR-07-2013-0064
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose– This study aims to examine the state and extent of disclosures on stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting in Australian local councils. Design/methodology/approach– Content analysis was used to analyse 23 sustainability/state of environment/annual reports out of a total of 563 local councils (city, shire, district, borough and regional) in Australia for the year 2009-2010 – those found to be using stakeholder engagement in the development of sustainability reports. A stakeholder engagement index was developed on the basis of the literature review to examine the extent of disclosures on stakeholder engagement. Findings– This study identifies: the Australian local councils that are engaging with their stakeholders in the development of sustainability reports; key stakeholders for sustainability reports; extent of engagement; media and approaches used for engagement; and difficulties in the engagement process. The results suggest that stakeholder engagement is an essential component in the development of sustainability reporting as it informs reporters of material concerns, issues and aspirations of key stakeholders. Research limitations/implications– The focus of this paper is the state of disclosures on stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting. The findings of the paper are limited to only one level of governance of the public sector, that is, local councils. Originality/value– International standards such as Global Reporting Initiative and AccountAbility (AA) 1000 have signified the role of stakeholder engagement in the development of sustainability reports. However, there has been a little research that demonstrates whether or not organisations engage with their stakeholders for reporting purposes. This paper provides evidence of stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting in Australian local councils.

Journal

Pacific Accounting ReviewEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 8, 2014

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