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The Emergence of Sustainability Reporting in Pakistan – The Institutional Logics Perspective

Mahmood, Zeeshan (2015) The Emergence of Sustainability Reporting in Pakistan – The Institutional Logics Perspective. PhD thesis, University of Essex.


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This study seeks to examine the institutional logics and processual dynamics behind the emergence of sustainability reporting (hereafter SR) in Pakistan. It investigates both the emergence of the SR field, as well as logics and processes of the initiation and implementation of SR in eight organisations. This study utilises the institutional logics perspective (Thornton, Ocasio and Lounsbury, 2012) as an analytical framework for institutional and organisational analysis. Using this framework, Pakistani society is conceptualised and analysed as an interinstitutional system which provides the basis for understanding the field as well as organisational-level dynamics. The Pakistani SR field is conceptualised as a socially constructed space in which a variety of social actors, embedded in different institutional orders, are involved in the social construction of SR through constellations of subjective meanings and material practices (known as institutional logics). The theoretical perspective argues for the presence of multiple logics in a given field that both constrain and enable organisational and individual rationality for action. In order to explore these dynamics, this study uses an embedded case study design informed by semi-structured interviews and extensive documentary analysis. This study identifies the presence of multiple logics in the Pakistani SR field which are linked with the evolution of institutional orders. This study finds that the dominant orders of family and religion act as social constraints for the emergence of SR in Pakistan which is mainly driven by the combination of market, corporate and professional logics. These logics, which collectively make a business case, are propagated mainly by the leading corporates, professional accounting bodies, non-governmental organisations and consultants. These actors through different events (e.g. award ceremonies, conferences, seminars and workshops) are involved in the institutional work for shaping SR. Organisational analysis finds that the decision to initiate SR and the implementation process is mainly driven by institutional forces that are mediated by organisational dynamics and situational contingencies. A combination of rationales is used by corporate managers of the eight organisations for justifying their reporting decision.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Zeeshan Mahmood
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2016 14:38
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2016 14:38

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