Human Capital Disclosures in Swedish State-Owned Enterprises—A Comparison of Integrated Reporting Versus Traditional Reporting
During the past 20 years, corporate social reporting has made a journey from being a niche reporting product by few green companies into the mainstream norm in corporate reporting, as more than 90% of all Swedish companies do report about sustainability by providing information on environmental, social and financial resources. Employees are often regarded as the companies’ most valuable resource. Nowadays, businesses tend to report about their human capital by including voluntary disclosures in corporate reports. Thus, the more recent problem stems in what to include and how to display it. To assist corporations, reporting frameworks from the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) or International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) gained popularity. By specifically addressing that human capital is one of the core capitals, the IIRC inevitably bring the reporting of human capital on the corporate reporting agenda. The purpose of this paper is to provide insight on how Swedish state-owned enterprises make disclosures about human capital in their corporate reports. Furthermore, this study aims to identify patterns in disclosure and provide illustrating examples as well as with respect to the application of integrated reporting in comparison with traditional corporate reporting. This exploratory study uses a disclosure index based on the GRI framework to collect the data. The results show that the state-owned enterprises (SOEs) applying integrated reporting tend to disclose more about employees than enterprises that follow traditional corporate reporting.
KeywordsIntegrated reporting Human capital Corporate reporting State-owned companies Sweden
The author is grateful to the Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius research foundation for financial support.
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