Discuss about the Chinese and English language Studies.
The article that has been chosen for the purpose of the critical review is Yang, H.H., Craig, R. and Farley, A., (2015). A review of Chinese and English language studies on corporate environmental reporting in China. This particular academic journal aims to review the aspect of Corporate Environmental Reporting in China and the role of the Government in the driving the alterations in the CER. They reflect the fact that the prevalent accounting theory in the Chinese corporate economy has been the Agency theory. Moreover, it has been found out that the corporate environmental reporting in China should be sensitive to a higher degree. This particular article aims to incorporate the institutional theory for the purpose of framing the analysis of the Chinese corporate environmental reporting.
This particular study aims to carry out a critical review of the chosen article in terms of the determination of the research question, the outcomes of the article and the theoretical framework that underpins the research.
The research problem or question that has been reflected in the selected academic journal essentially refers to the issues related to the crucial data that needs to be conveyed to the international stakeholders of business. This can be further defined by the fact that China has been long facing the issue of obtaining economic growth by incurring a gradually declining quality of the environment and increasing levels of inequity in the social strata. These issues have focused more on the framework of corporate environmental reporting that should be carried out by the business entities in China. Therefore, the particular research question that can be developed in this particular case is that the finding of the particular method in which the international stakeholders in regards to the special Corporate Environmental Reporting (CER) issues like the issues that have been raised in relation to the environmental components like carbon or water in China (Flick 2014).
Moreover, the second issue in regards to which the second research question can be framed is that the credibility of the environmental reports that are prepared by the Chinese business entities need to be properly evaluated and analyzed. There is no particular framework for measuring the effectiveness of the environmental reports. Moreover, no particular guideline has been provided in regards to the amount and kind of disclosures that should be included in the environmental reports by the listed entities. Therefore, the research question can be framed as t what is the particular way in which the credibility of the environmental report can be determined (Patten 2016).
Therefore, these are the research questions that can be developed from the academic journal.
Interesting factor about the article
This particular article aims to define the institutional transition of China from the bureaucratic secrecy to openness. The policies and the guidelines that have been guiding the politics, society and economics of China including the accounting regulations have been secretly maintained and regulated for a long time. The Governmental bodies in China or the bureaucracy had been controlling the flow of information in regards to the internal issues of the nation to the outside world. This further made it easy for the government executives and the CPC to control and maintan the political power. Moreover, the practice of maintaining secrecy helped the controlling or the governmental bodies in China to suit the needs in regards to the centrally planned economy. However, this practice was gradually changed when the transition of a market-oriented economy had started in China. This challenged the nation’s policy of secrecy in large because of the particular that the maintenance of institutionalized secrecy would lead to corruption and fraud in the general structure of business (Best and Kahn 2016).
Moreover, the discontent that had been growing in the population of the nation on account of environmental degradation has resulted in the increased demand for transparency in the corporate affairs related to the environment. The governmental body ruling China (CPC) and the central government in China were heavily pressurized for the purpose of promotion of the aspect of transparency and awareness of the public in regards to the environmental operations of the Chinese business entities.
Are the outcomes important?
The outcome of the public discontent had been that the business institutions had been more open in nature. They have been pressurizing the Chinese academics to publish the requirements. This resulted in the analysis of the Chinese academics that revealed the fact that the pressure was the highest in regards to the work related stress factor. Furthermore, the Chinese government reviewed the academic journals for the purpose of checking their political correctness. This ultimately resulted in the emergence of the research in regards to the Corporate Environmental Reporting (Bryman 2015).
Research philosophy or motivation of the author
The particular reason that motivated the author to conduct the required research is that the changing trend in regards to the political and economic transition had resulted in the change in the Chinese Corporate Environmental Reporting. It had been the financial years of 2006 and 2007, when the corporate entities in China had started incorporating the particular approach in regards to CER in the sustainability reports of the business entities. Furthermore, it had been mentioned in the article that the it was the year of 2008, that marked the rapid growth in the CER reporting by the Chinese business entities. Such an improvement in regards to the economy in China motivated the author to write this particular academic journal (Huertas 2016).
Theory that underpins the research
The theoretical framework that underpins the research is the Corporate Environmental Reporting. The aspect of corporate environmental reporting refers to the different means via which the corporate entities disclose the related information in regards to the environmental activities undertaken by the organization (Domhoff and Fox 2015).
The corporate environmental reports can be categorized as a singular form of environmental reporting. It is one of a kind report that is issued by the companies publicly for letting the stakeholders and the external world know about its achievements in regards to its environmental activities. This is the primary theory that had been underpinning the research as the emergence of the corporate environmental reporting in China has been discussed in details in cit chosen article.
Key motivation literature on which the study depends
The key motivating pieces of literature that on which the study depends are citations from the academic journals that have been used by the authors. The academic journals that have been utilized are in the nature of citation. These key pieces of literature can be listed down as follows:
- Yin, YJ. A comparative study of the peer review system of academic journals between China and the West. Journal of Zhejiang University (Humanities and Social Sciences? 2012; 42 (4), 201-16
- Yang XS, Zhang GF, Liu X, Yu YC, Feng CY. Analysis of the effectiveness of Chinese accounting research: A review of accounting papers published from 1980 to 2002 in Accounting Research (????). Accounting Research 2005; (3), 76-84.
- Li X, Jiang Y, Gao H. Thirty years (1978–2008) of financial accounting theoretical studies in China: Review, reflection and future development. In W. Liu & J.M. Liu (Eds.), Thirty Years of Chinese Accounting Reform (pp. 411–423). Beijing: China Finance and Economics Publishing; 2009
A variety of research methods have been utilized in conducting the research in regards to this particular case study. The different methods that have been adopted are face-to-face interviews, surveys, questionnaires, detailed analysis of the corporate sustainability reports, detailed analysis of the corporate environmental report, corporate environmental reporting disclosures that are available on the internet and the ascertainment of the quantitative features of the sustainability reports of the companies.
The research studies that had been utilized for the preparation of the chosen article has been ranging between the time period of 1997 and 2005. These research papers in turn have acquired the required data or information by the particular technique of publishing of questionnaires to the management bodies like the business managers and the accountants of the organizations. Moreover, relevant data has also been obtained from the annual reports of the companies. It must be noted here that a major portion of the financial data has been obtained from the annual financial reports. Therefore, it can be evidently concluded that the nature of data that has been collected for the purpose of constructing the research has been secondary. This means that the data has been collected from already existing resources and not from any kind of direct source. Thus, it can be concluded that the source of the data has been secondary in nature (Hair 2015).
The aspect of sample size refers to the most important feature of an empirical study. The primary objective of targeting a sample size is that the inferences of the research study are to be made in regards to a particular group of the population from a sample. A sample size that is used in case of a particular research study might be based upon expense in regards to the collection of data and the requirement to have statistical power. In case of the chosen article the time period that has been taken as a sample size is the time period ranging between 1992 to 2007 (Hair 2015).
Validity and reliability of the paper
The aspect of validity and reliability are the most important characteristics of a research study. It must be noted here that the aspect of validity refers to the presented information or analysis that is carried out in the selected study is valid. This is because a research study that is published, is often used as a secondary source by other users for the purpose of further study. Validity of a research study is one of the primary features of a research paper that is demanded by the users of these papers. The aspect of validity of a research paper depends on the validity of the resources from which the relevant data has been collected (Sekaran and Bougie 2016).
Reliability, on the other hand, refers to the degree to which the findings or conclusion of the research study that have been acquired on the basis of the conducted analysis can be trusted to an optimum degree or level (Sekaran and Bougie 2016).
The chosen piece of literature is featured with an optimum degree of validity and reliability. However, the only issue with the study is that the references that have been utilized are too old. This means that the data or the academic journals that has been referred to, dates back to 1997. The utilization of more current references would be proper.
Analysis of the results
The results obtained have been analyzed on the basis of different accounting theories like the agency theory, legitimacy theory. stakeholder theory, positive accounting theory and institutional theory. There has been no weakness in regards to the process that has been employed in analyzing the obtained results. Moreover, the utilization of the different accounting theories make the findings more relevant and applicable.
It can be further concluded that has been no separate section in regards to the conclusion of the selected piece of literature. However, in the ‘concluding remarks’ section of the study it can be evidently stated that the findings, the agency and positive accounting theory dominate the CER in China, has been properly concluded.
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