- Social reporting, engagements, controversies and conflict in an arena context
- Accounting Auditing & Accountability Journal
- Volume | Issue number
- 21 | 8
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
Purpose - To empirically investigate relationships between engagement activities and social reporting practices in a controversial and environmentally sensitive industry. The interactions investigated were not restricted to stakeholder relationships but included other communications between different stakeholders.
Design/methodology/approach - Presents a case study approach framed within a contested political arena. Data were gathered using multiple methods including interviews with salmon farming organizations, stakeholders, rule-enforcers, issue amplifiers and political institutions.
Findings - All arena participants used social reports in their interactions to communicate the social, environmental and economic consequences of salmon farming. Different social reporting practices appeared to be reflexively related to the competing motivations of different stakeholders. However, social reporting in Scottish salmon farming was fragmented, driven by many different factors and did not necessarily lead to a resolution of the conflicts within this arena.
Research limitations/implications - Researching social reporting should consider the co-existence and co-evolution of different social reports, competing motivations and engagement tactics of stakeholders. This paper identifies the construction of holistic reports from multiple reports and issue amplification as two research methods to engage in social and environmental policy debates.
Originality/value - Presents empirical evidence from an under-researched industry, which has the potential to develop the theoretical understanding of social reporting. It also introduces the arena concept as a useful tool in further social reporting research.
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