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The pre-history of sustainability reporting: a constructivist reading

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The pre-history of sustainability reporting: a constructivist reading. / Larrinaga, Carlos; Bebbington, Jan.

In: Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, Vol. 34, No. 9, 02.06.2021, p. 131-150.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Harvard

Larrinaga, C & Bebbington, J 2021, 'The pre-history of sustainability reporting: a constructivist reading', Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, vol. 34, no. 9, pp. 131-150. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-03-2017-2872

APA

Larrinaga, C., & Bebbington, J. (2021). The pre-history of sustainability reporting: a constructivist reading. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 34(9), 131-150. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-03-2017-2872

Vancouver

Larrinaga C, Bebbington J. The pre-history of sustainability reporting: a constructivist reading. Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal. 2021 Jun 2;34(9):131-150. https://doi.org/10.1108/AAAJ-03-2017-2872

Author

Larrinaga, Carlos ; Bebbington, Jan. / The pre-history of sustainability reporting: a constructivist reading. In: Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal. 2021 ; Vol. 34, No. 9. pp. 131-150.

Bibtex

@article{bac0c2a79d774a3cacaa26d9335250b9,
title = "The pre-history of sustainability reporting: a constructivist reading",
abstract = "PurposeThe aim of this paper is to provide an account of the period prior to the creation of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): a body that was critical to the institutionalization of sustainability reporting (SR). By examining this “pre-history,” we bring to light the actors, activities and ways of thinking that made SR more likely to be institutionalized once the GRI entrepreneurship came to the fore.Design/methodology/approachThe paper revisits a time period (the 1990s) that has yet to be formally written about in any depth and traces the early development of what became SR. This material is examined using a constructivist understanding of regulation.FindingsThe authors contend that a convergence of actors and structural conditions were pivotal to the development of SR. Specifically, this paper demonstrates that a combination of actors (such as epistemic communities, carriers, regulators and reporters) as well as the presence of certain conditions (such as the societal context, analogies with financial reporting, environmental reporting and reporting design issues) contributed to the development of SR which was consolidated (as well as extended) in 1999 with the advent of the GRI.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper theorizes (through a historical analysis) how SR is sustained by a network of institutional actors and conditions which can assist reflection on future SR development.Originality/valueThis paper brings together empirical material from a time that (sadly) is passing from living memory. The paper also extends the use of a conceptual frame that is starting to influence scholarship in accounting that seeks to understand how norms develop.",
keywords = "Sustainability reporting, Environmental reporting, Normativity",
author = "Carlos Larrinaga and Jan Bebbington",
year = "2021",
month = jun,
day = "2",
doi = "10.1108/AAAJ-03-2017-2872",
language = "English",
volume = "34",
pages = "131--150",
journal = "Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal",
issn = "0951-3574",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",
number = "9",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - The pre-history of sustainability reporting: a constructivist reading

AU - Larrinaga, Carlos

AU - Bebbington, Jan

PY - 2021/6/2

Y1 - 2021/6/2

N2 - PurposeThe aim of this paper is to provide an account of the period prior to the creation of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): a body that was critical to the institutionalization of sustainability reporting (SR). By examining this “pre-history,” we bring to light the actors, activities and ways of thinking that made SR more likely to be institutionalized once the GRI entrepreneurship came to the fore.Design/methodology/approachThe paper revisits a time period (the 1990s) that has yet to be formally written about in any depth and traces the early development of what became SR. This material is examined using a constructivist understanding of regulation.FindingsThe authors contend that a convergence of actors and structural conditions were pivotal to the development of SR. Specifically, this paper demonstrates that a combination of actors (such as epistemic communities, carriers, regulators and reporters) as well as the presence of certain conditions (such as the societal context, analogies with financial reporting, environmental reporting and reporting design issues) contributed to the development of SR which was consolidated (as well as extended) in 1999 with the advent of the GRI.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper theorizes (through a historical analysis) how SR is sustained by a network of institutional actors and conditions which can assist reflection on future SR development.Originality/valueThis paper brings together empirical material from a time that (sadly) is passing from living memory. The paper also extends the use of a conceptual frame that is starting to influence scholarship in accounting that seeks to understand how norms develop.

AB - PurposeThe aim of this paper is to provide an account of the period prior to the creation of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI): a body that was critical to the institutionalization of sustainability reporting (SR). By examining this “pre-history,” we bring to light the actors, activities and ways of thinking that made SR more likely to be institutionalized once the GRI entrepreneurship came to the fore.Design/methodology/approachThe paper revisits a time period (the 1990s) that has yet to be formally written about in any depth and traces the early development of what became SR. This material is examined using a constructivist understanding of regulation.FindingsThe authors contend that a convergence of actors and structural conditions were pivotal to the development of SR. Specifically, this paper demonstrates that a combination of actors (such as epistemic communities, carriers, regulators and reporters) as well as the presence of certain conditions (such as the societal context, analogies with financial reporting, environmental reporting and reporting design issues) contributed to the development of SR which was consolidated (as well as extended) in 1999 with the advent of the GRI.Research limitations/implicationsThis paper theorizes (through a historical analysis) how SR is sustained by a network of institutional actors and conditions which can assist reflection on future SR development.Originality/valueThis paper brings together empirical material from a time that (sadly) is passing from living memory. The paper also extends the use of a conceptual frame that is starting to influence scholarship in accounting that seeks to understand how norms develop.

KW - Sustainability reporting

KW - Environmental reporting

KW - Normativity

U2 - 10.1108/AAAJ-03-2017-2872

DO - 10.1108/AAAJ-03-2017-2872

M3 - Journal article

VL - 34

SP - 131

EP - 150

JO - Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal

JF - Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal

SN - 0951-3574

IS - 9

ER -