Critically evaluate the extent to which social and environmental reports provide useful information to stakeholders.
During the period of recent twenty years, majority of the companies are increasingly publishing Social and Environmental Report (SER) to represent their concerns among society and environment (Deegan and Unerman, 2011). SER is a concept adopted by corporations to integrate social and environmental aspects in the business and to interact with the stakeholders on a voluntary basis (Soloman and Lewis, 2002). From the definition, it can be seen that this action used by companies is beyond legal contract and compliance which means the usefulness and the purpose of SER is restricted to some extent. The purpose of this essay is going to critically evaluate the extent to which social and environmental reports provide useful information to stakeholders. This essay will argue that the useful information generated by the SCR to stakeholders is limited to some extent. The essay will be organised into two parts. Firstly, it will discuss what kind of information is provided by companies and how useful the information is. The second part will investigate the stakeholder theory by examining Managerial Branch and Ethical Branch to critically evaluate the usefulness of SER.
IASB (2010) defined the useful information as the information which can help organisation in the process of decision making and set out certain qualitative characteristics of useful information which are faithfully represented, relevant and comparable etc. In terms of the information in SER, the information contained in SER provided by companies are focusing on the influence of the activities companies do on the society and environment. Corporations have motivations to provide this information because it represents that the companies have social responsibility rather than just economic pursuits in the society. For instance, in the capital markets, whether a company can borrow the capital...
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