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Title: Sustainability Reporting, Accountability and Stakeholder Perspectives: An empirical analysis of Multinational Organizations in Australia, United Kingdom and South Africa
Contributor(s): Ahulu, Helena Koteikor (author); Yarram, Subba  (supervisor); Cooksey, Ray (supervisor); Farooque, Omar  (supervisor)orcid ; Gibson, Brian  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2013
Copyright Date: 2012
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This thesis aims to determine the factors that encourage increased accountable and transparent corporate sustainability disclosures in promoting stakeholder responsiveness towards sustainability reporting. The study argues that the current low level of disclosure and lack of transparency, accountability and responsiveness in corporate sustainability disclosures require urgent attention. Currently, companies publish sustainability reports mainly to fulfil their legitimate obligations to society. Disclosures are often not balanced, as most companies tend to disclose positive rather than negative outcomes. This problem has widened the information gap between companies and stakeholders, especially those investors who aim to invest in socially responsible enterprises. It also becomes difficult for companies to raise capital for their sustainable development activities. Furthermore, lack of balanced disclosures has rendered sustainability reports less useful to primary stakeholders. Thus, increased transparent and accountable sustainability disclosure is warranted. There is an argument that since companies use societal resources, they should show accountability for the use of such resources through transparent disclosures; independent third parties can provide credibility of such disclosures through 'assurance reports'. Stakeholders can also rely on such disclosures if they are able to physically verify some of the projects undertaken by companies. Stakeholders, especially primary stakeholders, have long been left out of the company decision-making process. This study is of the view that inclusion of primary stakeholders in the corporate decision-making process will help companies to disclose transparent and accountable information. Disclosure of such information will also enhance the corporate legitimacy process. The current study is, therefore, motivated to explore empirically the specific factors that would push companies to increase their sustainability disclosures and also publicly provide transparent and accountable information.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 140202 Economic Development and Growth
Rights Statement: Copyright 2012 - Helena Koteikor Ahulu
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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