Purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore the competencies needed to put
integrated reporting into practice.
Design/methodology/approach: The research approach was designed as a generic
qualitative inquiry, informed by the process of traditional job analysis. Semi-structured
interviews were conducted out with 21 people involved in integrated reporting either as
preparers or as consultants. In addition, secondary data analysis was conducted on
existing competency frameworks of the IIRC, ACCA, CIMA and SAICA, selected because
of updates made for integrated reporting. The primary and secondary data sources were
coded and mapped to three competency categories namely: cognitive, functional and
Findings: Integrated reporters fulfil a number of roles, namely as: interpreter of the <IR>
Framework, systems architect, nexus of information, storyteller and innovator. Various
cognitive, functional and foundational competencies were identified as critical within each
of these roles. The bulk of the integrated reporters’ time was spent on their role as nexus
of information and storyteller. The integrated reporters’ interpretation of the <IR>
Framework was identified as the basis for their approach to presenting a business case for
integrated reporting that may or may not be founded on the principle of sustainable value
creation. Many reporters spent most of their time acting as custodians and editors of the
information collected for the integrated report as well as writing of a specific story, while
challenging the board to ensure that the information portrayed was complete. The specific
story integrated reporters focussed on appeared to favour the information requirements of
shareholders as opposed to the information needs of stakeholders. The ability to innovate
is an aspirational role, underpinned by meta-competency. The ability of the integrated
reporter to apply meta-competency will be increasingly important, as the integrated
reporter spends more time in the role of innovator.
Research limitations/implications: The interviewees did not consider if the organisations
they work for are successful at integrated reporting, therefore the competencies reflect
their personal views of competencies required. As the competencies were compared to
competencies set out in published competency frameworks, the limitation was mitigated to some extent. The researcher was involved in preparing the integrated report for a nonlisted
organisation and in adjudicating integrated reports for an award at the time of the
Originality/value: This paper is the first to examine competencies required to put
integrated reporting into practice as identified by preparers and consultant on integrated
reporting. It makes an important contribution to the academic literature by adding to the
limited body of research on integrated reporting and corporate governance in South Africa.
The study provides insight into the roles that integrated reporters currently fulfil and how
these roles may impact on the implementation of integrated reporting in future.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2019.