Purpose – This paper aims to trace subsequent steps of the sustainability reporting evolution in terms of changes in the organisation fields and professional jurisdictions involved. As such, it highlights the (interrelated) organisational and professional challenges associated with the progressive incorporation of “sustainability” within corporate reporting. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on Suddaby and Viale’s (2011) theorisation of how professionals reshape organisational fields to highlight how organisational spaces, actors, rules and professional capital evolve alongside the incorporation of sustainability within corporate reporting. Findings – The paper shows organisational spaces, actors, rules and professional capital mobilised during the recent evolution of sustainability reporting, starting from a period in which there was no space for sustainability, to more recent periods in which sustainability gained increasing momentum beyond initial niches, and culminating in more integrated forms of sustainability reporting. Research limitations/implications – Although the analysis is limited to empirical evidence collected by prior research and practice on sustainability reporting, the paper offers a view to imagine how the incorporation of sustainability within corporate reporting relies on and affects organisational fields and professional jurisdictions. Originality/value – The paper offers a lens to interpret corporate and professional challenges associated with the more recent evolutions of sustainability reporting practice and standard setting. It also allows framing the papers accepted in the special issue on “new challenges in sustainability reporting” and concludes by suggesting an agenda for future research.

Organisational and professional challenges amid the evolution of sustainability reporting: a theoretical framework and an agenda for future research

Alessandro Lai
;
Riccardo Stacchezzini
2021

Abstract

Purpose – This paper aims to trace subsequent steps of the sustainability reporting evolution in terms of changes in the organisation fields and professional jurisdictions involved. As such, it highlights the (interrelated) organisational and professional challenges associated with the progressive incorporation of “sustainability” within corporate reporting. Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on Suddaby and Viale’s (2011) theorisation of how professionals reshape organisational fields to highlight how organisational spaces, actors, rules and professional capital evolve alongside the incorporation of sustainability within corporate reporting. Findings – The paper shows organisational spaces, actors, rules and professional capital mobilised during the recent evolution of sustainability reporting, starting from a period in which there was no space for sustainability, to more recent periods in which sustainability gained increasing momentum beyond initial niches, and culminating in more integrated forms of sustainability reporting. Research limitations/implications – Although the analysis is limited to empirical evidence collected by prior research and practice on sustainability reporting, the paper offers a view to imagine how the incorporation of sustainability within corporate reporting relies on and affects organisational fields and professional jurisdictions. Originality/value – The paper offers a lens to interpret corporate and professional challenges associated with the more recent evolutions of sustainability reporting practice and standard setting. It also allows framing the papers accepted in the special issue on “new challenges in sustainability reporting” and concludes by suggesting an agenda for future research.
Sustainability,Corporatereporting,Integratedreporting,Organisationalfields, Professional jurisdiction
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11562/1049582
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