Examining the quantity and quality of online sustainability disclosure within the Jordanian industrial sector: a test of GRI guidelines

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Reporting on corporate sustainability practices as being in congruence with social expectations is the core idea of legitimacy theory. Therefore, nowadays many organizations are making efforts to inform their stakeholders about the social, environmental and economic changes in their performance. Consistent with the argument above, this paper aims to examine the quantity and quality of corporate online sustainability information of the industrial sector in Jordan based on the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines. In line with content analysis method, this paper analyzes the quantitative sustainability indicators disclosed during last 7 years (2012–2018) by all the industrial sub-sectors listed on the website of Amman Stock Exchange. The results revealed that although all Jordanian industrial sub-sectors practice of the quantitative sustainability disclosure is in a modest degree in the period of 2012–2018, the emphasis on environmental and economic indicators was less than on social indicators in the corporate online reports. Results on qualitative analysis indicated that, considering all sustainability indicators, only the disclosure on indirect economic impacts, procurement practices, product responsibility, and economic performance have been reported at satisfactory levels of quality but with no compliance of GRI guidelines. According to the obtained results, policy makers in the Jordanian industrial sector should be very important players in order to open the channels of dialogue with corporate managers on the importance of their role in taking more responsibility for their non-financial operations. Consequently, this should ensure more transparent accountability through more quantitative and qualitative sustainability disclosure in the corporate reports.

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    • Figure 1. Total words of CSD from 2012 to 2018
    • Figure 2. Total words of sustainability disclosure by sub-sectors
    • Table 1. Rating and scoring criteria of qualitative and quantitative information
    • Table 2. The study population
    • Table 3. Quality of CSD indicators from 2012 to 2018
    • Table 4. Quality of CSD indicators by sub-sectors