Leeds Beckett University
AnInterpretivePhenomologicalStudyOfTheAdoption-ROBERTSON.pdf (7.5 MB)

An Interpretive Phenomological Study of The Adoption and Diffusion of Integrated Reporting Within UK Companies

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posted on 2022-12-05, 15:21 authored by Fiona Robertson
This thesis investigated UK early adopters of integrated reporting (IR) to establish motivations for IR adoption and factors which have impacted on the diffusion of IR within their organisations, using Diffusion of Innovations (DOI) as a theoretical lens. It fills a gap in IR literature, where systematic reviews revealed a dearth of IR research from an internal organisational perspective, particularly within a UK context. The study was based on in-depth semi-structured interviews with 36 senior executives actively involved in IR within seventeen organisations. A content analysis of the interviews was undertaken using qualitative coding techniques within Nvivo 10 software. The study found that organisations drew on a wide range of rationales for IR adoption, with a predominance of sociological over economic rationales. Predominant sociological rationales were: external pressures, primarily due to perceptions of shifts in societal expectations; and internal aspirations which related to enhancing reputation. Main social influences on IR adoption were report design consultants and board support for IR Social influences on further diffusion of IR within organisations were predominantly from three external sources; business network groups; report design consultants; and external auditors. Internal influences were identified in five functional areas. Dedicated cross functional IR teams were found to positively impact in diffusion, while organisational size, and complexity of operations, hindered diffusion. Perceptions of the characteristics of IR also impacted diffusion of IR within organisations. Relative advantage, compatibility and voluntariness perceptions were found to positively impact of diffusion of IR within UK organisations, whereas perceptions of complexity were found to have a negative effect on the diffusion of IR.


Qualification name

  • PhD


Samy, Martin ; King, Mervyn ; Tench, Ralph

Awarding Institution

Leeds Beckett University

Completion Date


Qualification level

  • Doctoral


  • eng


Leeds Beckett University

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