Is sustainability reporting becoming institutionalised? The role of an issues-based field (2016)
Type of ContentJournal Article
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. Department of Accounting and Information Systems
AuthorsHiggins, C., Stubbs, W., Milne, M.J.show all
We study companies that do not produce a sustainability report in contexts where institutionalization is assumed. Based on a careful analysis of interaction patterns between non-reporting companies, sustainability interest groups, and peer organisations we find patterns of discursive and material isomorphism that suggest sustainability reporting is confined to an issues-based field, rather than spreading as an institutionalised practice across the business community. We argue that the issues-based field exerts only weak pressure for sustainability reporting, and that encouraging more firms to report rests on understanding what influences companies to interact more widely to become part of this field.
CitationHiggins, C., Stubbs, W., Milne, M.J. (2016) Is sustainability reporting becoming institutionalised? The role of an issues-based field. Journal of Business Ethics, (early access online).
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KeywordsAustralia; institutional theory; issues-based fields; non-reporters; sustainability reporting
ANZSRC Fields of Research50 - Philosophy and religious studies::5001 - Applied ethics::500102 - Business ethics
35 - Commerce, management, tourism and services::3501 - Accounting, auditing and accountability::350107 - Sustainability accounting and reporting