Stakeholder representation in sustainability reports
In the past four decades, organizations report non-financial information along with the mandatory financial report. These non-financial, sustainability reports contain information about economic, social, and environmental activities of the organization. By reporting about sustainability issues, organizations try to be transparent and sustainable to the stakeholders. Organizations release information that stakeholders demand and consider as important. However, stakeholder groups have different needs and wants from the organization, also concerning sustainability. These groups can have competing demands. It is hard to meet every stakeholder group and demands equally, so the organization needs to decide which groups and demands are more important (Mitchell et al., 1997). The aim of this thesis is to investigate which stakeholder group is prioritized. All eighteen Dutch companies listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index 2016 are chosen as research object. Analyzing the sustainability reports of these organizations, will give insight in which stakeholder groups are most represented. A content analysis will be used to investigate this matter. Thereafter, an interpretative analysis will be applied to get more insight in why some groups are prioritized versus other stakeholder groups.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen