South African listed companies are among the first in the world to be subject to compliance with integrated reporting requirements in terms of stock exchange listing requirements. Integrated reporting, as a novel and evolutionary step in corporate reporting, along with the influence that integrated thinking and integrated reporting principles will have on companies, has been the subject of global debate in recent years. This study, performed two years into the South African integrated reporting regime, aims to summarise the findings of the perceptions of chief executive officers (CEOs), chief financial officers (CFOs) and senior executives of South African listed companies on the organisational changes perceived as a result of implementing integrated reporting requirements. The findings confirm and strongly support several of the anticipated organisational outcomes of a regulatory integrated reporting regime, most notably the advancement of strategic decision-making that recognises the organisation’s dependence on resources and relationships in creating and sustaining longer-term stakeholder value, greater consideration of the linkages and interdependencies between financial, social and environmental, and economic matters in setting strategic objectives, and an increased organisational focus on integrating social and environmental objectives into strategic objectives and aligning reported key performance indicators (KPIs) with external stakeholder requirements. Integrated reporting is also perceived as encouraging decision-making in the organisation with the objective of longer-term sustainable wealth-creation. However, maintaining the balance between transparency and business confidentiality when disclosing forward-looking information and strategy remains a challenging aspect of integrated reporting for companies.
Steyn, M. (2019). Senior executives’ perspectives of integrated reporting regulatory regimes as a mechanism for advancing sustainability in South African listed companies. Southern African Business Review, 18(3), 142–174. https://doi.org/10.25159/1998-8125/5692