Encoding, decoding and recoding value and capital in integrated reporting: from policy to practice

University House - Room 106
Wednesday 21 March 2018 (14:30-16:00)

This event is part of the Department of Accounting Seminar Series.

Jeffrey Unerman, School of Management, Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

Since the IIRC was founded in 2010, there has been an economic narrowing of its policies for
integrated reporting (IR). This has shifted the aims of IR from providing a report to a broad range of
stakeholders that offers an integrated holistic understanding of an entity’s social, environmental and
economic sustainability, to a report for financial investors focusing on economic sustainability – but
with some scope remaining for broader sustainability discourses. Drawing on linguistic theories of
discursive encoding, decoding and recoding, this paper evaluates how this economic narrowing of IR
policy was subsequently enacted, developed and reinforced (or otherwise) within early IR practice
related to the two main IR concepts of value and capital. Practice-level discourses of both value and
capital are found to have furthered the economic narrowing of (or economic turn in) IR policy –
although IRs of not-for-profit organizations recoded broader and more holistic conceptions of value
and capital.

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