This study was aimed at determining the contribution of integrated reporting to social and environmental accountability and sustainability. Current business and economic challenges include job-creation, addressing inequality and poverty and ensuring that future generations can prosper on earth. Businesses have to accept their responsibility of ensuring a sustainable future. Inasmuch as integrated reports are the visible part of an organisation s strategy, thinking and decision-making regarding various sustainability issues, it has become compulsory for companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. These reports require significant effort in their preparation.
This research study was exploratory in nature. Three research questions were addressed through content analysis. A coding framework was developed that included 14 variables relating to the research questions. A sample of five listed companies from three different industries was selected and three consecutive integrated reports (a total of 45 reports) were analysed against the 14 variables using the coding frame. The 45 integrated reports for Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed organisations were compared with reports by three organisations from Russia, India and China.
The study found that companies do not invest sufficiently in social and environmental sustainability and have not evolved to a stage where integrated thinking precedes the publication of integrated reports. Companies report retrospectively on environmental and social issues and have not taken a long-term view on social and environmental performance. Finally the research found small improvements in the social and environmental performance of companies that followed the guidelines of The International Integrated Reporting Framework.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2016.