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Trajectories of sustainability reporting by MNCs

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  • Kolk, Ans
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    Abstract

    With increasing attention to sustainable business, reporting by MNCs about the social and environmental dimensions of their activities - alongside their economic impacts - has become rather common. While research has documented sustainability reporting and looked at reports' contents, studies on MNC reporting as institutionalised phenomenon, considering evolving patterns at the firm level, have been lacking. This paper presents developments and trajectories of sustainability reporting by a panel of Fortune Global 250 firms, and also explores MNCs' reporting trends in their sector-specific settings. Using three data points covering a period of nine years, five patterns are found: consistent reporters, late adopters, laggards, inconsistent reporters, and consistent non-reporters. Different dynamics can be seen in the various sectors, with some in which reporting has become established and others where it is more emerging. Many sectors show European frontrunners, particularly when it comes to publishing verified reports at a relatively early stage. Peculiarities and implications for research and practice are discussed.

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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090951609000480
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of World Business.

    Volume (Year): 45 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 4 (October)
    Pages: 367-374

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:worbus:v:45:y:2010:i:4:p:367-374

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    Keywords: Sustainability Reporting Fortune Global 250 Industry dynamics Institutional factors;

    References

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    1. van der Laan Smith, Joyce & Adhikari, Ajay & Tondkar, Rasoul H., 2005. "Exploring differences in social disclosures internationally: A stakeholder perspective," Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 123-151.
    2. Halme, Minna & Huse, Morten, 1997. "The influence of corporate governance, industry and country factors on environmental reporting," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 137-157, June.
    3. Gary K Meek & Clare B Roberts & Sidney J Gray, 1995. "Factors Influencing Voluntary Annual Report Disclosures By U.S., U.K. and Continental European Multinational Corporations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 26(3), pages 555-572, September.
    4. Rondinelli, Dennis A. & Berry, Michael A., 2000. "Environmental citizenship in multinational corporations: social responsibility and sustainable development," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 70-84, February.
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    Cited by:
    1. Renzo Junior & Peter Best & Julie Cotter, 2014. "Sustainability Reporting and Assurance: A Historical Analysis on a World-Wide Phenomenon," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 1-11, March.
    2. Paolo Perego & Ans Kolk, 2012. "Multinationals’ Accountability on Sustainability: The Evolution of Third-party Assurance of Sustainability Reports," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 173-190, October.

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