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Corporate reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals: A structured literature review and research agenda.

Awuah, B., Yazdifar, H. and Elbardan, H., 2023. Corporate reporting on the Sustainable Development Goals: A structured literature review and research agenda. Journal of Accounting and Organisational Change. (In Press)

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DOI: 10.1108/JAOC-10-2022-0155


Purpose The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) framework emerged as a guidepost for the transition to sustainable development. To achieve this transition, companies are encouraged to integrate these goals into their business strategies, processes and corporate reporting cycle. The purpose of this paper is to review and critique the corporate SDGs reporting literature, develop insights into the state of this research field and identify a future research agenda. Design/methodology/approach Using a structured literature review (SLR) methodology, the paper reviews 65 empirical papers published in this field to identify how the current research is developing, offers a critique and identifies future research avenues to advance this field. Findings Corporate SDGs reporting is developing as a research area of great importance. The findings reveal that current SDGs reporting literature lacks theorisation, overly focusses on publicly listed companies and succinctly describes organisations’ engagement with the SDGs as superficial. Surprisingly, regions such as North America, the UK and other emerging economies have received less attention from scholars. Further, only a few authors have specialised in this field, and there currently exists low levels of international collaborations among authors as well as practitioners. Research limitations/implications The paper provides a novel contribution to the emerging field of corporate SDGs reporting. The key theoretical implications from this study’s SLR include the need for more interventionist research. Although there is an increasing number of accounting scholars developing research within this field, the prevailing research is concentrated on corporate SDGs engagement, drivers of SDGs reporting and scope of SDGs reporting. Furthermore, the scientific discourse remains largely under-theorised with positivist framings primarily focussed on the “what” questions. Thus, a modification to the current approaches and research methods is necessary to advance this field further. Practical implications The study provides practitioners with valuable insights into the current state of corporate reporting on the SDGs. To achieve more substantive engagement and reporting, a deeper understanding of the factors that influence corporate behaviour and disclosure practices is necessary. In particular, the study identifies new opportunities for practitioners to enhance the value relevance of corporate SDGs reporting. Originality/value The paper offers a comprehensive structured review of the empirical papers published on corporate SDGs reporting. It contributes to deepening this nascent research field by identifying five distinct areas where accounting and business scholars may focus to advance the field further and contribute to achieving the SDGs agenda.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:SDGs; Structured literature review; Reporting; Sustainability; Agenda 2030; SDG 12.6
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:39001
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:12 Oct 2023 13:58
Last Modified:12 Oct 2023 13:58


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