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Management control Systems

Irene M. Herremans and Jamal A. Nazari (2016) Sustainability Reporting Driving Forces and Management Control Systems. Journal of Management Accounting Research: Summer 2016, Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 103-124.


Irene M. Herremans

University of Calgary

Jamal A. Nazari

Simon Fraser University

We appreciate the helpful suggestions on earlier versions of this manuscript provided by the editor and anonymous reviewers. This paper was made possible through a grant from the Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE) at the University of Calgary and funding provided by CMA-Alberta.

Editor's note: Accepted by Yue Li.

This study investigates how seemingly similar external pressures elicited diverse sustainability reporting control systems and processes in a sample of Canadian companies in the oil and gas industry. Using interviews with companies and their stakeholders, we found that the type of sustainability reporting control systems depended on the managerial motivations and attitudes within companies as they responded to external pressures. More specifically, our results provide insight into how formal and informal sustainability reporting control systems were developed according to various managerial motivations and different types of stakeholder relationships. The type and balance between formal and informal control systems, in turn, influenced the sustainability reporting characteristics that the company was able to develop. We contribute to the literature by differentiating companies based on their institutional logics to deal with external pressures, managerial motivations, and stakeholder relationships, that in turn influenced their control system characteristics including reporting structures, information systems, and assurances.

Cited by

Satish Joshi and Yue Li. (2016) What Is Corporate Sustainability and How Do Firms Practice It? A Management Accounting Research Perspective. Journal of Management Accounting Research 28:2, 1-11.
Online publication date: 8-Sep-2016.

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