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Factors influencing the degree of disclosure in sustainability reporting: A study of Swedish companies using the GRI reporting guidelines
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering.
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Magister), 10 points / 15 hpStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background: Companies today are under increasing pressure from their stakeholders to become more and more transparent regarding the way they deal with the impact on the environment and the communities where they operate in. This type of information is mainly provided by means of sustainability reports. Several guidelines have been developed to aid report makers on the way. Currently however these sustainability reports still differ widely in the quantity of information provided which makes them difficult to compare and it is therefore important to understand the factors that can influence the amount of information being published.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify the factors having an impact on the amount of sustainability information published by Swedish companies using the guidelines developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

Method: Telephone interviews were conducted with eleven of the twenty-three Swedish companies listed in the GRI register in order to get their point of view regarding these factors.

Results: The study identified that the willingness to communicate with more than one stakeholder group is the most important factor that can influence the amount of information disclosed in sustainability reports. The authors also argue that a proactive attitude towards identifying legitimation strategies instead of an adaptive approach can also influence the degree of disclosure. Finally, a positive attitude towards the GRI guidelines may also contribute to producing a more detailed report.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutionen för ekonomisk och industriell utveckling , 2008. , 69 p.
Keyword [en]
Sustainability reporting, GRI guidelines, G3 levels of application, environmental reporting, social reporting
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-10648ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--08/00236--SEOAI: diva2:17361
2008-01-16, S27, C, 12:45
Available from: 2008-02-18 Created: 2008-02-18

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