Perspective Paper – Integrated Reporting and Integrated Thinking: A Commentary on the Integrated Reporting Framework (2013)

Chandrasiri Abeysinghe 


The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) issued its Integrated Reporting (<IR>) framework in 2013 intending to promote integrated thinking in organisational contexts for corporate sustainability. However, arguments are mounted against limitations in these guidelines and their potential to create integrated thinking. Mainly, the maintenance of the financial prominence, neglecting sustainability needs is among the criticisms.  Nevertheless, still, the framework contains some guidelines relevant to promote integrated thinking. An organisational change towards integrated thinking requires effective communication of the right message. This paper, benefitting from the Stakeholder Theory and the Stakeholder Agency Theory perspectives, sheds light on the potential of those guidelines to communicate the knowledge of integrated thinking to managers and concludes finding their failures. Utilising a content analysis of relevant guidelines contained in the <IR> framework, this paper contributes to the discussion of integrated reporting and integrated thinking for corporate sustainability.

Keywords: Integrated reporting, Integrated Thinking, Stakeholder Theory, Stakeholder Agency Theory, Stakeholder Value Creation, Sustainability Accounting

Volume 11, Issue 2
December 31, 2020
Pages: 142-170


Suggested citation:

Abeysinghe, C. (2020). Integrated reporting and integrated thinking: A commentary on the Integrated Reporting Framework (2013). Colombo Business Journal. 11(2), 142-170.

Chandrasiri Abeysinghe
Department of Accounting, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka