Changing views from the Board on the meaning of value

by Carol A Adams

In this CPA Australia podcast I discuss research which explores the interrelationship which influence corporate ability  to create value as broadly defined by the International Integrated Reporting Council.

Board of DirectorsIt discusses insights from interviews with Board Chairmen and Non-Executive Directors of major South African and Australian companies.  The research was funded by CPA Australia and will be published in the Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal.

Below is the abstract of a forthcoming paper which draws on the research findings to develop a conceptualisation of the contemporary value creation process: Adams CA (forthcoming), ‘Conceptualising the contemporary value creation process’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (Accepted 22nd December 2016)

Paper title: Conceptualising the Contemporary Corporate Value Creation Process



The purpose of this study is to examine and explain the complex interrelationships which influence the ability of firms to create value for their providers of finance and other stakeholders (loosely referred to in practice as ‘integrated thinking’). In doing so it examines the inter-relationships between: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) risk; delivering on corporate strategy; non-financial corporate reporting; and, board oversight.


Interviews were conducted with Board Chairs and Non-Executive Directors of large listed companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) (where Boards are required to have a Social and Ethics sub-committee and approve integrated reports which have been mandatory since 2010) and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) (where Board directors’ liability legislation results in Boards being reluctant to adopt integrated reporting which is voluntary).


The research finds that contemporary reporting processes, and in particular those set out in the King III Code and the International Integrated Reporting Framework, influence cognitive frames enhancing Board oversight and assisting organisations in managing complexity. This results in increased awareness of the impact of environmental and social issues and governance processes[1] together with a broader view of value creation despite investor disinterest.

Research implications

A number of avenues of research are suggested to further examine the interrelationships identified.

Practical implications

The research assists the development of practice and policy by articulating and enhancing our understanding of linkages, which loosely fall under the vague practitioner term ‘integrated thinking’.

Social implications

The conceptualisation can inform national and global discussions on the appropriateness of corporate reporting and governance models to achieve sustainable development.


The paper conceptualises emerging and complex interrelationships. The cross country comparison allows an assessment of the extent to which different national social contexts with differing governance and reporting frameworks lead to different perspectives on, and approaches to, value creation.

[1] The currently common acronym ESG is used in this paper to refer to Environment, Social and Governance issues.

research shutterstock_186878585 (2)This research is forthcoming in the Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal and copyright has been assigned to Emerald the journal publisher.  The author’s accepted version of the article will be posted in full on this website after publication. Please check the journal website for citation details once published.

 Adams CA (forthcoming), ‘Conceptualising the contemporary value creation process’, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal (Accepted 22nd December 2016)

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