Meditari Accountancy Research
ISSN : 2049-372X
Published by: Emerald (10.1108)
Total articles ≅ 372
Latest articles in this journal
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-06-2021-1333
Purpose: Responding to COVID-19, this conceptual paper uses rewilding to interrupt anthropocentric and human/nature dualist properties of accounting education. Through rewilding accounting education, informed by posthumanist and ecofeminist thought, this paper aims to develop an accounting pedagogy that shapes greater ecocentric narratives. Accounting educators can contribute to addressing crises by evolving new pedagogies that radically transform the education of future accounting professionals. Design/methodology/approach: The authors take a critical stance in analysing the human-centred accounting education model. They explore how this model can be reimagined through rewilding accounting education, resulting in learning interventions that foster an understanding of intrinsic value, complexity of systems and collective disposition with all species and the natural world. Findings: Rewilding learning interventions embed an ecocentric approach in accounting curricula design to extend beyond a human focus. Rewilding learning interventions practically explored with application to accounting include learning with and from nature, Indigenous knowledge perspectives, play as a common language and empathy as a dialogical bridge. Social implications: The authors present an accounting pedagogy that fosters among accounting students and educators a relational orientation and ecological consciousness that encompasses compassion and openness to others, including non-human species and nature. This will ensure that accounting graduates are better prepared for addressing future crises that stem from our disconnect with nature. Originality/value: This paper adds to limited research investigating accounting and the Anthropocene. Investigations into the Anthropocene’s human-centred discourse in accounting education are vital to respond adequately to crises. This paper extends social and environmental accounting education literature to encompass less anthropocentric discourse and greater relational learning.
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-02-2021-1214
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to discover how Hungarian manufacturing companies interpret technology and human resources as driving forces and barriers in terms of Industry 4.0 implementation. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted 23 semi-structured interviews with corporate leaders and applied qualitative content analysis using Atlas.ti software. Findings: The authors formulated a new definition of Industry 4.0 which emphasises the role of human factors. The authors identified driving forces (efficiency with speed/information flow/precision) and barriers (technology compatibility, human fears and lack of digital skills) in terms of Industry 4.0 implementation and developed the DIGI-TEcH performance management dimensions. Research limitations/implications: Comparison with other countries is limited. Given the exploratory and qualitative nature, further quantitative research would be needed to generalise results. Finally, only manufacturing companies are examined. Practical implications: It provides empirical evidence to practitioners to understand concerns about technology and human resource in terms of Industry 4.0 implementation. In addition, corporate performance management can be extended by the developed DIGI-TEcH dimensions. Originality/value: This paper reveals key evidence for the uptake of technology and human factors in terms of Industry 4.0 implementation and their impacts on corporate operation and performance. It also provides an insight into a specific country context, which can be a useful benchmark for other Central and Eastern European countries.
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-03-2021-1233
Purpose: This paper aims to examine the relationship between board gender diversity and private firm performance. Design/methodology/approach: The authors test the association between board gender diversity and private firm performance by estimating pooled multivariate regressions using an unbalanced panel data set of 115,253 firm-year observations. Findings: The authors find that younger, less busy and local women directors enhance private firm performance. Firms with 40% or more women directors report triple the economic benefits compared to boards with at least 20% women directors. Considering firm size, women directors significantly increase small firm profitability, and the effect is more pronounced for high-risk firms. Greater board gender diversity enhances small firm performance as the monitoring role of women directors benefits the firm even in the presence of busy men directors. Consistent with the agency theory framework, the authors find that women directors improve small firm profitability in the presence of agency costs. Research limitations/implications: Due to the lack of availability of data about private firms, many factors are not directly observable. The analysis uses accounting-based performance measures that may be subject to managerial discretion. Nevertheless, the authors report highly significant results using cash-based performance measures that substantiate the overall findings. Practical implications: The results of the present study point to the need for private firms to increase board gender diversity and consider women director busyness, age, nationality and firm size when making board director appointments. Originality/value: This study adds to the scarce existent literature investigating private firms. The results contribute to the understanding of gender-diverse boards as well as the attributes of women directors that enhance private firm performance.
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-04-2020-0847
Purpose: This paper aims to identify the competency domains to be included in a conceptual framework for tax literacy. Design/methodology/approach: Using a qualitative approach, this study expands on the current understanding of the competency areas of tax literacy. A dual-purpose literature review was, therefore, conducted. The literature review first provided the body of knowledge that underpinned the study and second, the key data concepts for the draft competency structure to determine whether there is consensus on an international (supra) level. The literature review was supported by an interactive qualitative analysis to further present the concept of tax literacy from the perspectives of various national stakeholders in an emerging economy. Accounting and public finance educators from a higher education institution, as well as financial advisers as representatives of a profession with a direct interest in tax-related matters, were considered. Findings: Although a discipline lens seems to strongly influence the previous authors’ view of what tax literacy means, it was possible to identify certain tax literacy competency domains that should be included in a taxpayer education curriculum. These content domains consist first of a knowledge domain which includes disciplinary, interdisciplinary, epistemic and procedural knowledge components. Second, the skills domain should include components of cognitive and meta-cognitive, social and emotional, as well as physical and practice skills. Third, personal and societal attitudes and values represent the third domain. Fourth, transformative competencies such as value creation, taking responsibility and reconciliation attributes are important. Finally, core foundational competencies, such as numeracy and literacy should be in place. Practical implications: The draft conceptual framework for tax literacy could serve as the foundation for the further development of a tax literacy measurement instrument, as well as tax education courses. Originality/value: A more holistic conceptual framework for tax literacy, portraying the multidimensional nature of taxation, is presented in contrast to the limited one-dimensional position presented up to now.
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-11-2020-1089
Purpose: The initial rationale for developing integrated reporting included addressing the failures of traditional reporting to address sustainability issues. Subsequently, the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) modified its stated objectives to emphasise integrated thinking and value creation. There has been debate on whether the IIRC’s process for developing its integrated reporting framework was subject to regulatory capture by the accounting profession (Flower, 2015; Adams, 2015; Thomson, 2015). This paper aims to provide additional evidence on the extent to which this regulatory capture occurred, with an update on current developments. Design/methodology/approach: Data from interviews with key participants in the integrated reporting framework’s development and the IIRC’s Council and Working Group meeting minutes were analysed to identify to what extent the change in the IIRC’s focus can be explained by regulatory capture theory. Findings: The findings show that the integrated reporting framework’s development was subject to regulatory capture by accountants. However, the extent of capture was mitigated to some extent by processes adopted in its development. This is consistent with regulatory capture theory. Originality/value: This paper critically examines the debate on the extent to which the sustainability message has been lost as a result of regulatory capture. It provides an in-depth analysis of the IIRC’s treatment of sustainability which explores the application of regulatory capture theory and examines evidence not considered in previous studies.
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-09-2021-1451
Purpose: This paper aims to explore the relationship between the readability of sustainability reports and chief executive officer (CEO) attributes, comprising monetary, non-monetary incentives and personal characteristics. Design/methodology/approach: The study is based on an international sample of companies operating in sustainability-sensitive industries during 2016–2018. Findings: The results prove that CEO monetary incentives, as well as CEO non-monetary incentives, negatively influence the readability of sustainability reports, revealed in a positive relationship with readability indexes, by providing reports with greater reading difficulty. Additionally, this study shows evidence about the relation of complementarity between these incentives. Other CEO characteristics have no significant effect on the readability of sustainability reports. Originality/value: This research sheds the light on the role of CEO incentives in obfuscating sustainability information to portray the company, operating in sustainability-sensitive industries, in a favorable image.
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-04-2021-1259
Purpose: This paper aims to investigate the determinants and consequences of using disclaimer language in the banks’ audit committee (AC) reports. This study aims to analyze the factors tempting AC members of banks to disclose disclaimer language in the AC reports and the effect of such language on the cost of equity. Design/methodology/approach: The data cover the period from 2006 to 2015 and considers the top US bank holding companies. Voluntary disclosure in the AC report is manually coded by using a scoring grid. Multivariate regression analysis is mainly used in the study. Findings: The findings suggest that the ACs are using the disclaimer language to protect themselves when disclosing a high level of voluntary information that describes their oversight activities or to reduce their liability exposure due to lower financial reporting quality. The findings also reveal that investors are requiring a higher return on their investments whenever ACs use disclaimer language in their reports. Originality/value: The AC report provides useful information to shareholders who evaluate the AC’s performance and accordingly vote for or against AC members on annual basis. The paper sheds lights on the motives and consequences of disclaimer language in the ACs report. Thus, the study benefits shareholders by providing empirical evidence in regard to the usage of disclaimer language. Also, the findings benefit industry, corporate governance organizations, standard setters and regulators that analyze AC disclosures and issue recommendations or new standards for improving those disclosures.
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-09-2020-1001
Purpose: This study aims to construct two environmental disclosure indices (EDI), one obtained from the mandatory reporting (annual report) and the other from the voluntary reporting (sustainability report), to compare their evolution. In addition, the authors developed and evaluated a conceptual model that aims to analyse if the two EDI are affected by industry, environmental certification, lucratively and corporate governance attributes. The legitimacy, signalling and voluntary disclosure theories are used to support the theoretical relationship between the company’s characteristics, corporate governance and environmental disclosure. Design/methodology/approach: Using the content analysis technique, the authors have developed two indices to assess the level of environmental disclosure in the companies’ mandatory and voluntary reporting. In addition, to analyse the determinants of EDI, the authors applied the technique of multiple linear regression using panel data. Findings: Based on Portuguese listed companies (Euronext-Lisbon), the results, from 2015 to 2017, exhibited an increase of 14.6% and 25.8% for the EDI obtained from the annual reports and for EDI obtained from the sustainability reporting, respectively. In addition, the results revealed that the environmental certification, lucratively, number of members on board and number and proportion of women of the board directors tend to affect the annual reporting EDI. Regarding the sustainability reporting EDI, the results showed that the environmental certification, lucratively and proportion of independent members of the board of directors have an impact on it. Research limitations/implications: The study focuses on quantitative rather than qualitative disclosures and it brings some insights to the theoretical field. Practical implications: The results obtained can assist corporate decision-making processes regarding the improvement of environmental disclosure, both on the mandatory annual report and on voluntary sustainability reports. Originality/value: This study brings new perspectives to this topical issue in accounting. Originally, this study is applied to Portuguese listed companies and it shows different trends and determinants of environmental disclosure when included in the annual reporting or sustainability reporting.
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-02-2021-1211
Purpose: This study aims to examine intellectual capital disclosure (ICD) on Twitter by 60 of the world’s largest companies and explains the main themes communicated to stakeholders. The second objective is to determine which topics provoke most stakeholders’ reactions. Design/methodology/approach: The authors perform content analysis on more than 42,000 tweets to examine ICD practices along with the reactions of stakeholders in the form of retweets and “favorites” toward the information disclosed. Findings: Intellectual capital (IC) is an important theme in corporate disclosure practices, as more than one-third of the published tweets refer to IC. The world’s largest companies focus on relational capital information, followed by human and structural capital. The main IC themes disclosed were management philosophy, corporate reputation and business partnering. Tweets related to IC are of greater interest to stakeholders than other tweets and provoke more reactions. There is no complete consistency between the topics most intensively disclosed by companies and those that elicit the most vivid responses from the addressees. Practical implications: This study offers an understanding of the world’s largest companies’ practices that refer to ICD via social media and has implications for organizations in the creation and use of communication channels when developing a dialogue with stakeholders on topics regarding IC that may lead to better management of IC performance. Originality/value: This paper is a response to the call for studies on ICD via social media, which is strongly highlighted in the recent literature concerning future research on IC and until now was almost absent in the field of business units. This research provides in-depth insights into the use of Twitter to disclose IC elements and indicates which fields and topics of this disclosure provoke stakeholders’ reactions, which is a novelty in ICD studies.
Meditari Accountancy Research; https://doi.org/10.1108/medar-09-2020-1014
Purpose: In 2010, Portugal’s newly implemented Accounting Standardization System (SNC - Sistema de Normalização Contabilística) aligned Portuguese accounting standards for unlisted companies with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence of the local context and the role of auditors in the institutionalization of this IFRS-based model in Portugal. Design/methodology/approach: Drawing from an institutional theory framework, the authors interviewed 16 Portuguese auditors in 2017 (seven years after formal implementation of the SNC) to determine their perceptions on whether barriers to the IFRS-based model persisted. Findings: The authors reveal that the code-law institutional logic embedded in the Portuguese context is hindering full institutionalization of the new accounting model. Some persisting barriers to implementation reflected a decoupling between formal requirements and actual practices. Despite these barriers, there has been an encouraging institutionalization of SNC. The authors reveal a high level of commitment of auditors. They draw attention to the engagement of auditors in the institutional work that is intended to assist in SNC implementation, and their role as promoters of a power-knowledge discourse in propagating IFRS institutional logics at the national level, namely, through the justification and rationalization of the reported institutional contradictions. Practical implications: The highlighting the authors provide of problems related to accounting change should assist international regulators, the Portuguese standard-setter and professional accounting associations to devise appropriate strategies to promote IFRS-based accounting systems implementation. Originality/value: The authors contribute to the skimpy literature on micro institutional analysis and encourage further exploration of the dynamics between the micro and macro levels of analysis in institutional research.