Sustainability Assurance And Assurance Providers: Corporate Governance Determinants In Stakeholder-Oriented Countries

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Sustainability Assurance And Assurance Providers Corporate Governance Determinants In Stakeholder-Oriented Countries

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PROJECT TOPIC AND MATERIAL ON SUSTAINABILITY ASSURANCE AND ASSURANCE PROVIDERS: CORPORATE GOVERNANCE DETERMINANTS IN STAKEHOLDER-ORIENTED COUNTRIES

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  • Name: Sustainability Assurance And Assurance Providers: Corporate Governance Determinants In Stakeholder-Oriented Countries
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ABSTRACT

This paper examines the effect of corporate governance mechanisms on companies’ decision to assure their sustainability reports and their choice of assurance provider in countries with a greater stakeholder orientation. The corporate governance factors analyzed are related to the strength of the board’s monitoring function, which is determined by the size, independence and activity of the sustainability committee. The international sample consists of 610 companies operating in countries that are more stakeholder oriented from the period 2007–2014. We propose alternative logit models of analysis using the random effects estimator. Consistently with our propositions, our results provide evidence that a firm’s sustainability assurance and its choice of the accounting profession are positively associated with board independence and the activity of the sustainability committee. In addition, the empirical evidence obtained shows a U-shaped relationship between the board size and assurance issues.

Journal of Management & Organization, 23:5 (2017), pp. 647–670© 2017 Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management do their sustainability reports and their choice of assurance provider in countries with a greater stakeholder orientation. The corporate governance factors analyzed are related to the strength ofthe board’s monitoring function, which is determined by the size, independence and activity of the sustainability committee. The international sample consists of 610 companies operating incountries that are more stakeholder oriented from the period 2007–2014. We propose alternativelogit models of analysis using the random effects estimator. Consistently with our propositions, our results provide evidence that a firm’s sustainability assurance and its choice of the accountingprofession are positively associated with board independence and the activity of the sustainabilitycommittee. In addition, the empirical evidence obtained shows a U-shaped relationship betweenthe board size and assurance issues.Keywords: assurance, assurance provider, board of directors, corporate governance,stakeholder-oriented countriesReceived 11 April 2016. Accepted 2 November 2016INTRODUCTIONSustainability performance has achieved remarkable development over the last few years (Fifka,2013), increasing so the trend to report such performance via the voluntary disclosure (Clarkson,Li, Richardson, & Vasvari, 2008) in a sustainability report that assesses the three main components ofenvironmental protection, economic growth and social equity (Morimoto, Ash, & Hope, 2005).Moreover, the continuing calls to achieve the disclosure of sustainability performance have ledcompanies beyond sustainability reports, where some of them have begun to combine social andenvironmental information with financial data in a single document, the integrated reporting, as partof an effective sustainable strategy that meets the need of information demanded by stakeholders(Frías-Aceituno, Rodríguez-Ariza, & García-Sánchez, 2013). Social and environmental information,both in sustainability reports as in integrated reports, are valuable for investors and their data areincorporated into valuation models, generating benefits such as a lower level of analyst forecast error,a higher firm value and reputation, and a lower cost of equity capital (Dhaliwal, Radhakrishnan, Tsang,* Instituto Multidisciplinar de Empresa (IME), Universidad de Salamanca, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, FES,Salamanca, Spain** Instituto Multidisciplinar de Empresa (IME), Universidad de Salamanca, Campus Miguel de Unamuno, FES,Salamanca, SpainCorresponding author:

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