Stakeholder Theory and Legitimacy Theory are both appropriate models to describe organisational behaviour to produce corporate voluntary sustainability reporting. However, both theories did not fully meet the conceptual requirements. Therefore, based on the historical roots, this paper critiques its current form and gives suggestions that may be taken to satisfy the requirements.
This research paper provides an overview of the purpose of Corporate Sustainability Reporting at the beginning of the paper. It follows by considering several of criticisms for both Stakeholder and Legitimacy Theory that have been used by corporate managements to provide voluntarily certain information to parties outside the organisations as well as the empirical implication of the organisations. Afterwards, the author of this paper will identify two multinational companies which are: Walmart and Tesco to compare the way the two companies report on economic, environmental and social aspects in their 2011 annual reports and sustainability reports. Finally, this paper provides a discussion of how legitimacy is managed from both perspectives of Stakeholder and Legitimacy theory through reporting by two companies.
There are numerous perspectives of what constitutes a Corporate Sustainability Report. The Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Reporting Guideline (2000-2011 p.3) describes sustainability reporting as “… the practice of measuring, disclosing and being accountable to internal and external stakeholders for organisational performance towards the goal of sustainable development.” This report will satisfy the stakeholders’ interest by focusing on financial performance and corporate tactics in managing its sustainability.
The aim of sustainability reporting is to summarise and provide the information about the progress and performance by a company to the public such as shareholders, social profit groups, financial analysts and consumers
References: Gray, R, Owen D & Adams, C. 1996, Accounting and Accountability, Prentice Hall Europe, Great Britain. Post, J.E., Preston, L.E., Sachs, S. 2002, ‘Managing the extended enterprise: the new stakeholder view’, California Management Review, vol. 45, no. 1, pp. 6–28. Walmart 2011, 2011 Global Responsibility Report, viewed 11 September 2012, < http://www.walmartstores.com/sites/ResponsibilityReport/2011/>. Wood, D 1991, ‘Corporate social performance revisited’, Academy of Management Review, vol