Integrated Reporting; Driver for change or window dressing?

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The world of corporate reporting is evolving and the growing demand for more transparency is creating a segregated reporting landscape. In the last ten years, a new trend of corporate reporting has emerged to tackle this issue: integrated reporting. Even though lots of benefits are mentioned in the theory, it remains unclear what the real driver behind the choice for integrated reporting is: is sustainability the real driver for integrated reporting, or is it merely a tool to streamline business processes? In the research, the following main question will be answered: ’’To what extent is sustainability a driver in the choice for and the results of switching to integrated reporting?’’ The research has two main subjects: the motives and the eventual results of integrated reporting. It compares the theory on integrated reporting with the practical experiences of ten multinationals with integrated reports. Even though sustainability is the main motive for integrated reporting, the actual benefits are more internal benefits, streamlining business processes. It can be concluded that sustainability is an important driver for integrated reporting, but that the potential effect integrated reporting has on sustainability has yet to be proven.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen