Hawai’i Accounting Research Conference (HARC) is an annual global accounting conference held at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa (UHM) at the Shidler College of Business in early January. Only high quality papers are accepted for presentation at HARC 2019 and benefit from fruitful discussions in the accounting community. Therefore, we are happy to announce that the current working paper of Prof. Dr. Janine Maniora (Technical University of Munich) and Prof. Dr. Christiane Pott (TU Dortmund University) had been accepted for presentation and discussion in the beginning of 2019. You can find further information here.
The traditional EY Award for the best master thesis at the chair of Prof. Dr. Berens (Westfälische Wilhelms-University, Muenster) was received by our team member Ms. Isabel Hertl. The ceremony took place at castle Wilkinghege on December 11, 2018. Mr. Senghaas (EY) and Prof. Dr. Berens handed over the award to Ms. Hertl (pictured). In the context of her master thesis “Challenges associated with the implementation of non-financial reporting guidelines for diversified groups – illustrated by the example of Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH”, Ms. Isabel Hertl examined the question of how to implement the requirements of the CSR Directive 2014/95/EU into a highly diversified enterprise, such as the Franz Haniel & Cie. GmbH. In a first step, Ms. Hertl outlined legal and theoretical principles of the CSR Directive. Building on this, she identified fundamental challenges in the fields of sustainability management, traditional management accounting and external non-financial reporting. Congratulations, Ms. Hertl!
Prof. Dr. Janine Maniora recently published a new research paper entitled “Mismanagement of Sustainability: What Business Strategy Makes the Difference? Empirical Evidence from the USA” in the Journal of Business Ethics. The paper examines whether and to what extent the overall business strategy influences the firm’s mismanagement of sustainability. Specifically, an empirical measure for the mismanagement of sustainability is developed by exploiting the newly available materiality guidelines for US firms to define industry-specific material sustainability issues. Using this measure, this paper shows that mismanagement of sustainability can represent unethical business behavior when firms intentionally perform better on immaterial issues than on material issues by diverting stakeholders’ attention from the firm’s low overall sustainability performance. This paper assumes that the right business strategy can prevent such unethical actions. Based on Miles and Snow’s (Organizational strategy, structure and process, McGraw-Hill, New York, 1978) organizational theory, this paper distinguishes between Prospector and Defender business strategies. By employing multiple firm-level panel regressions, the findings suggest that Prospector-type firms are more likely to mismanage sustainability issues compared to Defender-type firms intentionally. The results give implications for researchers, regulators and standard setters, auditors, sustainability practitioners, and scholars. You can find the article here.