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Über dieses Buch

Sustainability, the environment, corporate accountability, social justice, integration – these are the buzzwords of our century. This book takes readers on a journey through the landscape of standard-setting giants and corporate reporting paradigms through the eyes of two companies that have taken very different paths toward integrated thinking. Both stories provide new insights into the transition to integrated reporting, as envisaged by the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), and how integrated reporting is reshaping our views on transparency. However, the top-down approach adopted in studies of integrated reporting in practice has left many questions unanswered: Is it effective? How does it evolve into established practice? Is it just another management fad? This bottom-up critique answers all these questions and one more: Could integrated reporting become the corporate reporting norm? We shall see.

Given its depth of coverage, the book appeals to IIRC academic community, participants in integrated reporting networks, and others interested in integrated reporting.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Integrated Reporting (): The State of the Art?

Abstract
Business is changing. And it’s changing fast. The challenges we face in contemporary society are unprecedented and daunting—globalization, climate change, poverty, social inequality, and corruption… to name a few. However, with crisis comes courage, and the voice of the people is growing louder: organisations need to step up and take responsibility for their corporate actions. For some, the cutting edge of this clarion call is what they see as the future of corporate disclosure—Integrated Reporting (<IR>).
Cristiana Bernardi

Chapter 2. Antecedents of : Tracing History

Abstract
To better understand where <IR> stands today, it is helpful to trace its origins: how it has developed in different jurisdictions, and how it is currently being promoted. The IIRC’s strategy was supposed to culminate in what it termed a ‘Breakthrough Phase’ in 2017. But, as Dumay et al. (2017) point out, <IR>  has not yet broken through any major markets beyond South Africa. There is, however, one notable exception in Japan, where a desire to attract Western capital has led to sweeping changes in corporate governance legislation and <IR> is being fit for that purpose (Sabelfeld and Dumay 2018). Thus, understanding some of the major developments that have shaped what <IR> represents today requires a journey that begins in post-apartheid South Africa.
Cristiana Bernardi

Chapter 3. The Stages of Research

Abstract
Like its predecessor, intellectual capital, <IR> was initially conceived by practitioners with academics following closely behind in either support or opposition. This chapter outlines the two sides of the debate and, through this analysis, also explores the stages of <IR> research as well as the relationship between practitioners and academics. Commonly, first-stage research in a field is simply explorations of concepts and ideas, while second-stage research addresses our understanding of their ostensive impacts. Third-stage of research critically examines how to implement the ideas refined in the first- and second-stages. In this sense, the path from first to third-stage research can be likened to the bridge that must be crossed between practitioners and academics for an idea to truly succeed. This is the journey to be explored in this chapter.
Cristiana Bernardi

Chapter 4. Leonardo: All that Glitters Is not Gold

Abstract
Given that <IR> is a relatively recent phenomenon, insights are needed to understand how it works in practice and, as a consequence, to ascertain if it could eventually become the corporate reporting norm as advocated by the IIRC. Adams (2015, p. 23) encourages “academics to engage with the [<IR>] process and to contribute to the development of new forms of accountings to help ensure [the <IR> Framework’s] potential is reached”. In response, this and the following chapter seek to provide insights into two organisations that have embarked on the journey towards <IR>. The two case studies contribute to the ongoing debate on <IR> by providing examples of how, and for what reasons, <IR> becomes part of a wider reporting eco-system and the conditions needed for its success (or lack thereof). To date, <IR> research has mainly adopted a top-down ostensive approach rather than a critical bottom-up performative stance based upon its implementation. Therefore, the case studies presented here seek to showcase how two different organisations attempted to operationalise <IR> and the journeys they went through to get there, as well as to derive insights into what new issues will potentially impact on <IR> practice in the future. The first case study delivers insights into a former subsidiary of the Finmeccanica Group that attempted to innovate its strategic management reporting system by moving from IC reporting to integrated thinking, and subsequently helping its holding company adopt <IR>. Following a major company restructure on 1 January 2016, the subsidiary is now one of five divisions of Leonardo S.p.A., a high-tech multinational company operating in the aerospace, defence, and security sector headquartered in Italy. The five divisions comprise helicopters, aircraft, aerostructures, electronics, and cybersecurity. Access to the data about the subsidiary’s integrated thinking and reporting journey was given on the proviso of anonymity. Therefore, it has been given the fictional name Omega.
Cristiana Bernardi

Chapter 5. Eni: The Midas Touch

Abstract
This chapter provides insights into the <IR> journey taken by Eni S.p.A., a multinational company operating in the oil and gas industry. Eni’s claim of commitment to sustainability is proven by achievements and awards and, more importantly, its history. This case study, which is based on data and information gathered from different sources, including interviews, reveals a company that is seemingly making a genuine effort to improve its corporate reporting practices without any external obligation. Rather, it has an eye to new emerging reporting frameworks that fit with changing social, environmental and business contexts. In this vein, <IR> is used in complement with other reporting models to communicate appropriately with different audiences. The conclusions drawn contribute to third-stage performative <IR> research by delivering insights into the dynamics through which <IR> has evolved to become an established practice within a suite of reporting initiatives.
Cristiana Bernardi

Chapter 6. : Foray or Mainstay?

Abstract
The two cases presented in this book are diametrically opposed, and each raises different insights for <IR> practice. However, both offer some lessons for furthering the <IR> Framework. They also offer scope to learn some lessons about corporate disclosure. These lessons outline how <IR> works differently in practice. Thus, these two cases help to conceptualise how companies treat <IR>, and what they hope to achieve by implementing it (or not). Such lessons are needed because we cannot always accept unquestioningly that new management technologies will or should be adopted. Nor can we be sure that managers will accept the claims espoused by <IR>’s proponents or that its alleged benefits will always be realised.
Cristiana Bernardi
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