Non-financial reporting and corporate governance: a conceptual framework

Dimes, Ruth and Molinari, Matteo (2023). Non-financial reporting and corporate governance: a conceptual framework. Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/SAMPJ-04-2022-0212

Abstract

Purpose This paper aims to develop a conceptual framework informed by a literature review. This framework aims to deepen and broaden the understanding of the relationship between corporate governance mechanisms and non-financial reporting (NFR) through qualitative research approaches.
Design/methodology/approach A review of corporate governance and NFR literature and existing research frameworks leads to the development of a conceptual framework to encourage future qualitative accounting research on the corporate governance mechanisms for NFR.
Findings Few studies consider the complex interrelationships between NFR and corporate governance mechanisms. Quantitative studies using secondary data sources dominate accounting research on the topic. Of the small number of qualitative studies, many are theoretical and offer little new knowledge about the effectiveness of corporate governance mechanisms in practice. The research framework, developed from a literature review and consideration of multiple qualitative approaches, proposes numerous avenues for future research.
Research limitations/implications This paper is based on a scoping review of the literature using peer-reviewed journal papers. Other researchers may have identified additional literature for inclusion, including grey literature.
Practical implications More qualitative research into NFR and corporate governance mechanisms may help to guide practitioners seeking to incorporate sustainability into their governance practices.
Social implications The critical relationship between NRF and corporate governance is under-explored in research yet has significant consequences for organisations pursuing sustainability.
Originality/value The authors develop a conceptual framework for qualitative accounting research on NFR and corporate governance, addressing key outstanding questions in this area and considering different theoretical perspectives when approaching this critical topic. Although there is scope for further research in general in this promising area, including quantitative reviews and discursive studies, qualitative research would be of particular value. The authors also outline multiple directions for nurturing academic debate.

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