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Question:

Part A

1.Several theoretical lenses have been applied to explain social and environmental disclosure practices by firms. Identify two competing theories used by Clarkson et al. (2008), Dawkin and Fraas (2011) and Cho, Freedman and Patten (2012). Critically discuss how these theories can be used to explain (social) and environmental disclosure behaviours and the motives for such behaviours.

2.Two prominent practices that provide partial evaluation of firms’ social and environmental accountability are (i) social and environmental performance measurement by rating agencies and (ii) provision of sustainability assurance by professional accountants and other relevant professionals. Discuss the role of the two practices in the development of Social and Environmental Accounting as an applied field.

Part B

Prominent scholars in Social and Environmental Accounting (SEA) have emphasised the need for researchers in the area to redirect a proportion of their attention to the adoption of theoretical propositions to explain managerial disclosure practices (see, Gray, 2002; Mathews, 1997; Owen, 2008; Parker, 2005). These scholars made this call as they had the intuition that such engagement would lead to illuminative findings that would offer insightful explanations for social and environmental disclosure behaviours.

You are required to select any company, operating in a pollution-intensive industry, which issues sustainability report based on the guidelines of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Using the two competing theories identified in (1) of part A, discuss the chosen company’s likely motives behind the patterns of disclosure regarding each of the following G3 core performance indicators.
 
 

Answer:

Part A

Several theoretical lenses have been applied to explain social and environmental disclosure practices by firms. Identify two competing theories used by Clarkson et al. (2008), Dawkin and Fraas (2011) and Cho, Freedman and Patten (2012)

The concept to provide information about manager’s point of view about the non proprietary release is mainly defines the voluntary disclosure theory.  These information’s are define the disclosure information fully depends upon the management decisions. Management always takes absolute decisions about the release of this type of information. The declaration is mainly published when its gives proper advantages to the organization. According to this report the environmental activities are mainly creating the positive relationships between company’s disclosures and environmental performance (Clarkson, 2008). According to the report firms are mainly creating negative impacts on the environment but with the help of the company’s disclosure it gives the favourable impact on the environment. Companies are provide these disclosure to get economic benefits from society and this theory always provide the appropriate information about the environment and also the companies which are performing good in their corporate social responsibilities.

According to the research the theory is mainly based on the economic benefits and other advantages. This theory is utilizing for the describing the environment reporting practices for the undeveloped countries.  The economic growth is depends upon the growth of industrialization and technological to enhance the company’s growth by avoiding the environmental issues. Whenever environment is facing difficulties while growth the results should be clarify by environmental expert or companies with their own help. The undeveloped economies are focusing mainly on the industrial growth and also neglecting the environmental growth.

  Most of the stakeholders are also about to enhance their standard of living by neglecting that companies having any social responsibilities towards society and environment. In the results the organizations providing operations in underdeveloped country to enhance their business activities properly by using disclosure towards social responsibilities of corporate sectors. This activity can make better and hygienic relationships between environment and corporate sector’s activities.

When after disclosure was published and not properly following by the companies by any reasons in underdeveloped countries so that will be provided as discretionary information. The positivity is really essential for make the better relationships between companies disclosure for environment and also the environmental performances actually they need to perform.  There are mainly several forms of environmental disclosures are made by the companies to perform their corporate social responsibility.

 

The legitimacy theory it is described that companies are mainly taking benefits from the economy benefits. The legitimacy theory is mainly depends upon the negative relations between company’s accountability and legitimacy theory and environmental performance through companies environmental disclosure. The companies are mainly facing difficulties from their stakeholder’s legal issues and for that organizations need to apply image repairing strategies. These strategies can give the positive growth by applying communication in the society about the company’s disclosures (Dawkin and Fraas, 2011).

Those companies which are not fulfilling their corporate social responsibilities properly can improve their performance through publish their disclosures which may distract the public views on the other side from their lower performance and also with the help of this activity they can change the perception of stakeholders and general follows of the companies. According to the many empirical studies are proofing that the negative connections between environmental performances and companies disclosures is the fact (Higgins and Walker, 2012). And also the bad performer company of the environment performance is published highly knowledgeable disclosures rather than good performer of the environment performances.

According to the empirical report of several companies are different countries having results of inverse relation within environment performance and company’s disclosures with the references of legitimacy theory.  The political strategies are mainly creates the inverse connection within the company’s disclosures and environmental performance. The study mainly define the neglecting of social responsibilities and as well as the company’s disclosure for hiding the poor operating activities of the organizations.

Companies are mainly take utilities from the political strategies to avoid the environment legal rules and regulations. According to the authors provided information about the report is concluded through unfavourable environmental performer companies are providing much better social responsibilities information whether that is in monetary terms or non monetary terms can be managed by them properly better than the good corporate responsibilities performer companies in the society (Guidry and Patten, 2012).

According to the most of the environment details are available on the webpage of the company and mainly all the companies who are doing less corporate social responsibilities are providing huge details about environment activities over their annual  financial  statement of the companies.

According to the most of the researcher’s knowledge for the connection within the company’s environmental disclosures and actual corporate responsibilities follows by the firms have factual results in the undeveloped countries. As the avoidance of empirical studies making the companies rating activities vanished. The rating agencies are not able to rate the organizations without their factual database studies are not technically possible in nature.

The reasons behind the less developed companies are mainly provide attention towards their disclosure to maintain their accountability of the company. These theories are mainly discussed in the reports related to environmental behaviour of the company.

According to the several numbers of researchers said that the companies in the South Africa counties are able to reduce their company’s disclosure about environment with the support of the legal activities towards their business (Gibassier, 2012). The legalized system enhances the environmental responsibilities aware in some undeveloped countries of Asia. The gas flaring issues of the companies can be disclosed by the major stakeholders companies for better environmental awareness (Freedman and Patten 2012).

 

Part B

Two prominent practices that provide partial evaluation of firms’ social and environmental accountability

Social and environmental performance measurement by rating agencies

The behaviour of the companies towards the environment, rules and regulations and responsibility is mainly considered as social responsibilities of the company. The overall activities are based on the social responsibilities whether it is structure of the company or the management and operational activities of the company (Contrafatto and Burns, 2013). The overall activities done by the organization can directly give impacts on their stakeholders.

The empirical studies are used by the rating agencies for the last several years for investigation activities to find out the connections within organizations social and as well as the financial activity. The whole documentation is related to the illegal activities, pollution and also related to the employee’s relation with the organization. 

According to the most of the researcher’s knowledge for the connection within the company’s environmental disclosures and actual corporate responsibilities follows by the firms have factual results in the undeveloped countries. As the avoidance of empirical studies making the companies rating activities vanished. The rating agencies are not able to rate the organizations without their factual database studies are not technically possible in nature.

The rating agencies are mainly do company’s valuation of the social and environmental performance and negotiation with the several investors or stakeholders about this information. The rating agencies mainly analyze the social, environmental as well as the financial performance of the company (Gery Djajadikerta and Trireksani, 2012). The company investors, researchers and others mainly utilize these details. The ratings of the organization are valid for the particular period of time.

Provision of sustainability assurance by professional accountants and other relevant professionals

The accountants are also provided an important role in the corporate social responsibilities of the companies. The major responsibilities are provided by the accountants for their respective organizations. The research is on the accounting activities of the company on the basis of the social and environmental issues. The accountant’s roles and responsibilities are mainly defined in three main fields. They are mainly the auditors, financial accountant and management accountant.

According to the social and environmental accounting mainly the financial accountants are accountable for the assets and liabilities which are related to the social & environmental issues. And also draft a report on those aspects in a formal ways. The responsibilities of the management accountant is to maintain the costs and benefits of the companies which is directly connected to these social problems and at last the auditors are responsible to verify and assure the company about the social account realized. The accountants are most shows their interest towards the corporate social responsibilities are huge in number’s range. There are many accountants are dedicatedly work for improvement of the social justice and providing benefits to the society on the studies of the social and environment issues.

 

Reference List

Contrafatto, M. and Burns, J. (2013). Social and environmental accounting, organisational change and management accounting: A processual view. Management Accounting Research, 24(4), pp.349-365.

Gery Djajadikerta, H. and Trireksani, T. (2012). Corporate social and environmental disclosure by Indonesian listed companies on their corporate web sites. Journal of Applied Accounting Research, 13(1), pp.21-36.

Gibassier, D. (2012). Environmental Management Accounting and Innovation: An Exploratory Analysis. Social and Environmental Accountability Journal, 32(2), pp.112-113.

Guidry, R. and Patten, D. (2012). Voluntary disclosure theory and financial control variables: An assessment of recent environmental disclosure research. Accounting Forum, 36(2), pp.81-90.

Higgins, C. and Walker, R. (2012). Ethos, logos, pathos: Strategies of persuasion in social/environmental reports. Accounting Forum, 36(3), pp.194-208.

Mark, G. (2012). Private FCPA Enforcement. Am Bus Law J, 49(3), pp.419-506.

Melissa Abrahams, E. (2014). The Extraterritorial Effects of US Legislation FCPA. JGBM.

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