PURPOSE : The purpose of this paper is to synthesise insights from accounting and accountability research into the rapidly emerging field of integrated reporting and proposes a comprehensive agenda for future research in this area. In so doing, it draws upon insights from other papers in this special issue of Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal on the theme of integrated reporting.
DESIGN/METHODOLOGY/APPROACH : The paper draws upon and synthesises academic analysis and insights provided in the embryonic integrated reporting academic literature in conjunction with policy pronouncements.
Findings : The paper shows that the rapid development of integrated reporting policy, and early developments of practice, present theoretical and empirical challenges because of the different ways in which integrated reporting is understood and enacted within institutions. It highlights many areas where further robust academic research is needed to guide developments in policy and practice.
RESEARCH LIMITATIONS/IMPLICATIONS : The paper provide academics, regulators and reporting organisations with insights into issues and aspects of integrated reporting that need further development and need robust evidence to help inform improvements in policy and practice. A key limitation is that it draws upon a synthesis of the existing literature which is at quite an early stage of development – but provides scope for considerable further development.
ORIGINALITY/VALUE : The paper provides the growing number of academic researchers in this emerging area with a foundation and agenda upon which they can build their research.