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Private social, ethical and environmental disclosure

  • 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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    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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    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. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    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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