Gaining momentum: towards integrated reporting practices in GCC countries

Ahmed Hassan Ahmed, Mohamed Esmail Elmaghrabi, Theresa Dunne, Khaled Hussainey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose – The study focuses on all non-financial companies representing four Gulf countries namely: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE and Qatar. It provides a comparative analysis of the extent of Integrated Reporting practices amongst 217 listed companies in 2013 and 2014.

Design/methodology/approach – The sample comprises all non-financial companies listed on the respective stock markets. An integrated reporting index comprising 43 items was developed based on a review of the extant literature and the IIRC framework. A descriptive analysis follows which explores the extent of integrated reporting amongst the sample companies.

Findings – The results indicate that the Integrated Reporting is still in an embryonic stage with companies listed on the UAE and Saudi Arabia stock exchanges taking the lead. The results show great variation amongst the surveyed companies which could reflect the voluntary nature of IR practices and the absence of a universally-recognised framework that guides such practices, resulting in companies having discretion in terms of the nature and extent of their IR practices.

Practical Implications – This paper provides evidence from the Gulf region with respect to the extent of integrated reporting practiced there, as the majority of prior studies focus on countries with developed capital markets. The results presented in this paper should therefore be of interest to regulators and standard-setters charged with developing accounting standards related to integrated reporting.

Originality/value – To the best of the authors’ knowledge this is the first study to investigate IR practices in the Middle East and North Africa region, so it could be regarded as an important step in understanding how this area of research is moving forward in developing countries context and should provide a springboard for future research in this area.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Strategy and Development
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 19 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Accounting
  • Integrated Reporting
  • Stakeholder Theory
  • Developing Countries
  • Gulf

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