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The effect of integrated reporting on integrated thinking between risk, opportunity and strategy and the disclosure of risks and opportunities
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Integrated reporting requires a new form of disclosure to provide a holistic view of the organisation and aims to support integrated thinking, decision-making and actions that focus on the creation of value. The International Integrated Reporting <IR> Framework (IIRC 2013b) provides guidelines for the content elements required in an integrated report. One of the content elements is 'risks and opportunities'. This study firstly assessed whether integrated reporting has enhanced integrated thinking between strategy and the risks and opportunities faced by the organisation. For this purpose, a web-based research questionnaire was sent to high-level implementers of integrated reporting at companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) in South Africa, where integrated reporting is a listing requirement. The results of the study provide new insights for companies preparing integrated reports, as well as other stakeholders, which show that integrated reporting has driven change towards integrated thinking between strategy, risks and opportunities. Secondly, a content analysis was done on a sample derived from the top 100 companies listed on the JSE to determine whether integrated reporting has brought about a change in the disclosure of risks and opportunities. The results provide new research findings and indicate that most companies conform to the disclosure requirements noted in the International <IR> Framework (IIRC 2013b) regarding risks and opportunities except for disclosures relating to the assessment of specific risks. The content analysis further found that integrated reporting has driven limited change in the disclosure of risks and opportunities.