Purpose - This paper intends to compare the sustainability reporting (SR) in three different national and institutional contexts, namely Italy, Brazil and USA, and aims to investigate whether companies show a different approach to SR depending on the institutional setting where they operate. Design/methodology/approach - To reach this goal, a sample of 150 reports was content-analyzed through a methodology based on a coding process which overcomes part of the limitations in previous works. Findings - Results observed a relationship between the SR and the characteristics of institutional contexts, thus suggesting that while there is a general acceptance and use of international SR standards and initiatives, the content is influenced by and shaped on the characteristics of the national institutional context. In other words, although a widely diffused base of data and information can be found in the SR of companies in different contexts, the accent is put on specific issues which reflect the political, cultural, religious, legal and otherwise defined institutions in the national system. Originality/value - Using the institutional theory the paper demonstrated that institutional contexts is one of the drivers of contents of sustainability reports.

Ferri, L. M., The influence of the institutional context on sustainability reporting. A cross-national analysis, <<SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY JOURNAL>>, 2017; 13 (1): 24-47. [doi:10.1108/SRJ-11-2015-0172] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/99478]

The influence of the institutional context on sustainability reporting. A cross-national analysis

Ferri, Laura Maria
2017

Abstract

Purpose - This paper intends to compare the sustainability reporting (SR) in three different national and institutional contexts, namely Italy, Brazil and USA, and aims to investigate whether companies show a different approach to SR depending on the institutional setting where they operate. Design/methodology/approach - To reach this goal, a sample of 150 reports was content-analyzed through a methodology based on a coding process which overcomes part of the limitations in previous works. Findings - Results observed a relationship between the SR and the characteristics of institutional contexts, thus suggesting that while there is a general acceptance and use of international SR standards and initiatives, the content is influenced by and shaped on the characteristics of the national institutional context. In other words, although a widely diffused base of data and information can be found in the SR of companies in different contexts, the accent is put on specific issues which reflect the political, cultural, religious, legal and otherwise defined institutions in the national system. Originality/value - Using the institutional theory the paper demonstrated that institutional contexts is one of the drivers of contents of sustainability reports.
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http://www.emeraldinsight.com/info/journals/srj/srj.jsp
Ferri, L. M., The influence of the institutional context on sustainability reporting. A cross-national analysis, <>, 2017; 13 (1): 24-47. [doi:10.1108/SRJ-11-2015-0172] [http://hdl.handle.net/10807/99478]
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