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Motives for voluntary sustainability reporting: A study of SMEs in Sweden and the U.K.
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.
University West, School of Business, Economics and IT, Division of Business Administration.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The climate is rapidly changing due to an increasing amount of emitted carbon dioxide which will lead to problems for future generations to meet their needs in terms of resources. More and more organizations have started acknowledging that their activities affect the environment surrounding the organization. Multinational organizations are forced by law to present a sustainability report to declare their contribution to a more sustainable development. Small and medium-sized organizations (SMEs) do not need topublish a sustainability report by law, but an increasing number of SMEs publish a sustainability report voluntarily. Therefore, it is of interest to gain knowledge about what motives SMEs have to present a voluntary sustainability report. The purpose of this study was to gain knowledge about motives for voluntary sustainability reporting by SMEs in Sweden and the U.K. To gain knowledge about the subject, a quantitative approach was used. In order to limit the scope of this study, SMEs in Sweden and the U.K. was targeted to answer a web-based survey. The survey was based on the theoretical framework, which consisted of the triple bottom line, the legitimacy theory and the stakeholder theory. Based on the theoretical framework, four hypotheses were formulated. Hypothesis 1 was that organizations have more motives for presenting information about environmental sustainability. Hypothesis 2 was about motives for voluntary sustainability reporting and legitimacy. Hypothesis 3b was that organizations prioritize certain stakeholders' demands. Hypotheses 1, 2 and 3b were all confirmed by descriptive statistics and one sample t-tests. Hypothesis 3a was about motives for voluntary sustainability reporting and satisfying their stakeholders' demands. Hypothesis 3a could not be confirmed or rejected due to scattered results in the descriptive statistics and the one-sample t-test. Two major conclusions could be drawn from the conducted survey. The first conclusion was that organizations have more motives to sustainability report about the environment rather than about the social or economic aspects of sustainability. The second conclusion was that both gaining legitimacy and satisfying certain stakeholders' demands are motives for sustainability reporting for SMEs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 34
Keywords [en]
Voluntary sustainability reporting, SMEs, triple bottom line, legitimacy, stakeholders, motives.
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hv:diva-14239Local ID: EXD951OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hv-14239DiVA, id: diva2:1339622
Subject / course
Business administration
Educational program
International Business
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2019-08-19 Created: 2019-07-30 Last updated: 2019-08-19Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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Output format
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