Skillnader i synen på granskning av hållbarhetsredovisningar : med fokus på företagsegenskaper samt : nationella och kulturella olikheter
Abstract (Summary)Presently environmental and ethical matters are in the centre of attention and companies producing sustainability reports have become more common. It has also started to become more and more ordinary to assure these sustainability reports by an external part. However, the amount of assured sustainability reports differs a lot between different countries.There can be several reasons for why the companies chose to get the sustainability report assured. Previous studies state that the choice to produce sustainability reports can be re-lated to theories like the legitimacy theory, stakeholder theory and the agent theory. Other aspects that can affect the decision to construct a sustainability report can according to prior studies be different company characteristics and the national culture in the country in which the company is operating. What the authors would like to know is whether these theories and studies also can be applicable when it comes to explaining a company’s choice of assuring their sustainability report. The purpose with this thesis is to describe and explain to what extent a connection can be found between a company’s choice of assuring its sustain-ability report and its company characteristics and also the national culture. The different company characteristics that have been studied are the size of the company, the industry in which the company operates in, earlier experience from sustainability reporting and the choice of how the sustainability information is presented. To be able to study the impact of culture Hofstede’s five cultural dimensions have been used.The authors have in their study been able to use a database produced by KPMG. The au-thors have only focus upon a part of the information that is available in the database and in this study are 608 companies included. The authors of this thesis have chosen to use a quantitative approach and a statistical study has been made. The authors have chosen a quantita-tive study due to the large sample. For the statistical study the authors have used SPSS.The result from this study shows that there is a weak connection between the different company characteristics and the choice to assure the sustainability report. The strongest connection was found between earlier experiences and assuring. The study does also display a connection between the assuring of sustainability reports and culture. However, here the connection is not that strong as with the company characteristics. There are three out of five cultural dimensions that demonstrate a connection. To conclude, both the different company characteristics and the culture have a certain impact on the choice to assure or not assure the sustainability report. However, the authors believe that this is only some of the factors that can have an impact of the choice to assure the sustainability report.
School:Högskolan i Jönköping
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Date of Publication:06/21/2007