Impact of ASX corporate governance guidelines on sustainability reporting

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Accounting Research Journal, 2019, 32 (4), pp. 692 - 724
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: This paper aims to examine the impact of the Australian Securities Exchange Corporate Governance recommendations on the breadth (amount of items covered) of (environmental and social) sustainability reporting by the firms in the Top 100, around the change from G3.1 to G4 disclosure regimes. Design/methodology/approach: This paper undertakes comparisons of means and regression models to investigate the changes between disclosure scores of 98 listed entities from the 2013 G3.1 to the 2015 G4 disclosure regimes. Findings: This paper finds that average disclosure levels did not change. Nonetheless, disclosure practices did vary by entity size and performance. Analysis of 2015 disclosures contingent on 2013 disclosure practice indicates that disclosure changes are consistent with a pattern of mean reversion. Practical implications: Evidence that low disclosers increased disclosure and high disclosers reduced disclosers is consistent with the idea that sustainability disclosure is not so much driven by any ethical considerations, but rather by a desire to not be a disclosure outlier. Reliance on voluntary disclosure to achieve a socially desired level of disclosure is unlikely to bear fruit. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the literature on sustainability by examining firm responses to change in disclosure regimes, and concluding that size and peer relativities drive the disclosure process.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: