Lunch: 12:30 - 13:00
Location: G15, Henley Business School, University of Reading Whiteknights
Presenter: Diogenis Baboukardos - Lecturer at the Essex Business School, University of Essex
In recent years firms have attempted to incorporate financial and non-financial dimensions into their daily activities in order to address demands stemming from financial and non-financial stakeholders alike. However, it has been only in the last decade that such attempts have been systematised and conceptualised under the notion of Integrated Reporting and the broader notion of Integrated Thinking. Integrated Thinking is expected to play a central role in a firm’s endeavour to consider its broader impact (beyond the financial one) and adjust its activities to stakeholder needs. This study is exploring this issue by focusing on one of the most straightforward manifestations of a firm’s commitment toward its stakeholder: the assurance of its sustainability disclosures. Using firm-level data that spans over a 15-year period (2002-2016) and 47 countries we show that the level of Integrated Thinking has increased over time suggesting a growth in strategic integration of sustainability issues. More importantly, we provide empirical evidence that Integrated Thinking is positively associated with sustainability reporting assurance which confirms our thesis that Integrated Thinking is a manifestation of firm’s commitment towards its stakeholders’ needs.
Diogenis Baboukardos is a Lecturer at the Essex Business School, University of Essex. He has held teaching and research appointments in Greece, Sweden and the UK. His main research interests lie in the fields of financial accounting and corporate reporting. He is particularly interested in issues related to Financial reporting; Sustainability reporting and; Integrated reporting. His work has been published in journals such as British Accounting Review; Journal of Accounting & Public Policy and; Accounting Forum. He is editorial board member of the journals Accounting Forum and Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal and serves as reviewer in journals such as British Accounting Review, European Accounting Review and Journal of Accounting & Public Policy to name but a few. He is also officer of the British Accounting & Finance Association (BAFA) Financial Accounting & Reporting Special Interest Group (FARSIG). Diogenis has a rich professional record with extensive experience in accounting and taxation consultancy positions. His main professional expertise is related to financial management, financial reporting and tax compliance.