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Sustainability ; 15(8):6633, 2023.
Article in English | ProQuest Central | ID: covidwho-2293602


Corporations and small/medium enterprises (SMEs) are subject to a variety of external and internal pressures that often lead to changes in their corporate governance structures and accounting/reporting systems. The environment in which these organizations are collocated has undergone a deep process of change, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, the blockchain, and the energy industry crisis. Business activities represent a critical and a vital component of human existence across the globe—one that is not restricted to a financial standpoint—and their impact on societal, environmental and animal conditions is now undisputed. However, these activities are frequently coupled with allegations of their being the actual causes of those disruptions and collapses that persist in escaping the scrutiny of international governments. For the effective delivery of sustainable business activities, the concepts of governance and accountability are crucial, and the future of the inhabitants of planet Earth is arguably dependent on the ability of corporations (through their entire value chain) to govern themselves well and to demonstrate accountability to their many stakeholders. This should be achieved through the adoption of good governance standards which are well accepted, and that are globally harmonised with ‘Environmental, Social and Governance' (ESG) reporting tools that are able to strategically assess and evaluate risk exposure and provide forward-looking information. In this critical context, few studies have actually examined these issues thoroughly, and, because the findings of those studies have been contradictory, there is still no definitive understanding of the causes of weak accounting and reporting tools for ESG dynamics under conditions of disruption. A systematic literature network analysis (SLNA) is used in this study to examine the evolution of the ESG reporting research domain based on existing relationships (e.g., aggregation, cross-citations and isolation) among authors contributing to the field. The findings demonstrate the current state of the art, disclosing interesting and timely future research directions. Furthermore, this study employs a novel approach known as SLNA to conduct the analyses, confirming its efficacy as a tool for dynamic analysis also within the field of sustainability accounting research.