Mandatory vs. voluntary exercise on non-financial reporting: does a normative/coercive isomorphism facilitate an increase in quality?

Carungu, Jonida, Di Pietra, Roberto and Molinari, Matteo (2020) Mandatory vs. voluntary exercise on non-financial reporting: does a normative/coercive isomorphism facilitate an increase in quality? Meditari Accountancy Research. ISSN 2049-372X (In Press)

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Abstract / Description

Purpose:
This paper aims at investigating the quality of Non-Financial Reporting (NFR) in light of Directive no. 2014/95/EU. Specifically, it focuses on the quality of NFR in Italian companies, as required by Legislative Decree no. 254/2016.

Design/methodology/approach:
The method used to develop the analysis is mainly qualitative. A content analysis of 184 Non-Financial Reports (NFRs) was conducted on a sample of 92 companies that have been previously involved in the process of NFR on a voluntary basis. Then a longitudinal analysis was carried out in order to assess the quality of the NFR conducted from a voluntary to a mandatory basis.

Findings:
This study shows that the quality of NFR does not increase when moving from a voluntary to a mandatory basis, especially for 25 per cent of the companies that publish supplementary sustainability reports and/or plans.

This result demonstrates that preparers may perceive mandatory NFR as a comprehensive best practice to adequately report their social, economic and environmental performance.

Originality/value:
The contribution of this research is threefold. Firstly, it contributes to the social and environmental accounting literature that focuses on NFR quality assessment. Secondly, it contributes to the literature that emphasizes the role of mimetic, coercive and normative isomorphism mechanisms on accounting systems and reporting practices. Thirdly, it contributes to the research gaps for academics highlighted by previous literature on mandatory corporate reporting as a consequence of normative requirements, and on the relationship between regulation and mimetic, coercive and normative isomorphic mechanisms within organizations.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: social and environmental accounting; corporate reporting; non-financial report; institutional isomorphism
Subjects: 600 Technology > 650 Management & auxiliary services
Department: Guildhall School of Business and Law
Depositing User: Jonida Carungu
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2020 15:43
Last Modified: 28 Sep 2020 15:43
URI: http://repository.londonmet.ac.uk/id/eprint/6056

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