Strategy disclosure in South Africa : 2012 banking and retail analysis

Venables, Graeme (2014-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Stakeholders have demanded that strategic disclosure and sustainability reporting of companies are disclosed in more detail in order for the different stakeholders to form an opinion whether to invest, partner and contribute towards the sustainability of the company. Different stakeholders require different disclosure. Various bodies have been formed to established guidelines for sustainable reporting. The Global Reporting Initiative has become the leader in the field and have implemented the fourth generation of their Sustainable Reporting Guidelines. This study was to evaluate the strategic sustainable disclosure of companies in the banking and retail sectors. Five companies from each sector were selected being consistent with previous studies. The previous studies utilised the 2010 and 2011 information with this study focusing on the 2012 company reports. The reports used were the integrated annual reports, sustainability reports and annual financial statements where applicable. Strategic disclosure was evaluated against three different baseline models. Two of these models, being baseline 1 and baseline 2, were used in previous studies with a new baseline being introduced. Baseline 1 was based on the Global Reporting Initiatives third generation guidelines with seven reporting elements. Baseline 2 was based on the elements of the strategic architecture framework with eight reporting elements. Baseline 3 was based on the new Global Reporting Initiatives fourth generation reporting guidelines, which were issued in May 2013. The main differences from the Global Reporting Initiatives third generation and fourth generation was moving previous standard requirements to guidelines and the introduction of new standard disclosures. The study results showed an overall improvement in both sectors for all the companies using baseline 1 and 2 from 2011 to 2012. Baseline 3 differed to baseline 1 in only the organisational profile element with an additional fourteen questions but the removal of four questions. The results of the organisational profile were markedly worse than baseline 1 with an overall drop of 23% and 18% for the banking and retail sector respectively. Baseline 1 should be replaced by baseline 3 moving from the third to fourth generation of the Global Reporting Initiative sustainability guidelines.

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