Is sustainability reporting becoming institutionalised? The role of an issues-based field

Colin Higgins, Wendy Stubbs, Markus Milne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    11 Citations (Scopus)


    We study companies that do not produce a sustainability report in contexts where institutionalisation is assumed. Based on a careful analysis of interaction patterns between non-reporting companies, sustainability interest groups, and peer organisations, we find patterns of discursive and material isomorphism that suggest sustainability reporting is confined to an issues-based field, rather than spreading as an institutionalised practice across the business community. We argue that the issues-based field exerts only weak pressure for sustainability reporting, and that encouraging more firms to report rests on understanding what influences companies to interact more widely to become part of this field.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)309-326
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Business Ethics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Australia
    • Institutional theory
    • Issues-based fields
    • Sustainability reporting
    • Non-reporters

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