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Private social, ethical and environmental disclosure


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  • Jill Frances Solomon
  • Aris Solomon
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    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine the extent to which social, ethical and environmental (SEE) disclosure is being integrated into institutional investment. The aim is also to investigate the interplay between private and public SEE disclosure. Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a grounded theory methodology involving interviews with 21 members of the UK institutional adjustment community. Findings – The paper found that institutional investors did not consider that public SEE disclosure was adequate for their portfolio investment decisions, suggesting that SEE disclosure was decision-useful. Consequently, this perceived market failure in public SEE disclosure has been supplemented by the development of sophisticated private SEE disclosure channels. Further, the interviews indicated that this private SEE disclosure process was becoming dialogic in nature, since not only were institutional investors initiating the engagement process with companies but also companies were starting to request information on the SEE disclosure required by institutional investors. This finding contrasts with previous work which found that the private disclosure process in financial reporting was essentially user-oriented and uni-directional. Originality/value – This paper highlights the importance of SEE disclosure to a crucial user group, institutional investors. The research contributes to the SEE disclosure literature by revealing details of the evolving private SEE disclosure process for the first time.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal.

    Volume (Year): 19 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 4 (July)
    Pages: 564-591

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    Handle: RePEc:eme:aaajpp:v:19:y:2006:i:4:p:564-591

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    Postal: Emerald Group Publishing, Howard House, Wagon Lane, Bingley, BD16 1WA, UK

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    Keywords: Disclosure; Investors; United Kingdom;


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    1. Buzby, Stephen L. & Falk, Haim, 1978. "A survey of the interest in social responsibility information by mutual funds," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 3(3-4), pages 191-201, October.
    2. Aris Solomon & Jill Solomon, 1999. "Empirical Evidence of Long-Termism and Shareholder Activism in UK Unit Trusts," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 7(3), pages 288-300, 07.
    3. Belkaoui, Ahmed, 1980. "The impact of socio-economic accounting statements on the investment decision: An empirical study," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 263-283, July.
    4. Akerlof, George A, 1970. "The Market for 'Lemons': Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500, August.
    5. Acland, Derek, 1976. "The effects of behavioural indicators on investor decisions: An exploratory study," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 1(2-3), pages 133-142, June.
    6. Core, John E., 2001. "A review of the empirical disclosure literature: discussion," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-3), pages 441-456, September.
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    Cited by:
    1. Elena Barbu & Pascal Dumontier & Niculae Feleagă & Liliana Feleagă, 2012. "Mandatory environmental disclosures by companies complying with IAS/IFRS: The case of France, Germany and the UK," Working Papers halshs-00658409, HAL.
    2. Vassili Joannides & Nicolas Berland, 2008. "Reactions to reading “Remaining consistent with method? An analysis of grounded theory research in accounting”: A comment on Gurd," Post-Print halshs-00340178, HAL.
    3. Solomon, Jill F. & Solomon, Aris & Joseph, Nathan L. & Norton, Simon D., 2013. "Impression management, myth creation and fabrication in private social and environmental reporting: Insights from Erving Goffman," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 195-213.
    4. Prado-Lorenzo, José Manuel & García-Sánchez, Isabel María & Gallego-Álvarez, Isabel, 2012. "Effects of Activist Shareholding on Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting Practices: An Empirical Study in Spain," Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Science, Universidad ESAN, vol. 17(32), pages 7-16.
    5. David Owen, 2008. "Chronicles of wasted time?: A personal reflection on the current state of, and future prospects for, social and environmental accounting research," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 21(2), pages 240-267, February.
    6. Elena Barbu & Pascal Dumontier & Niculae Feleagă & Liliana Feleagă, 2011. "Mandatory environmental disclosures by companies complying with IAS/IFRS: The case of France, Germany and the UK," Post-Print halshs-00658734, HAL.
    7. Jill F. Solomon & Aris Solomon & Simon D. Norton & Nathan L. Joseph, 2011. "Private climate change reporting: an emerging discourse of risk and opportunity?," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(8), pages 1119-1148, October.
    8. Marie-Andrée Caron & Marie-France B. Turcotte, 2009. "Path dependence and path creation: Framing the extra-financial information market for a sustainable trajectory," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 22(2), pages 272-297, February.


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