Trees between Office Buildings

Sustainability Reporting in Different Institutional and Regulatory Disclosure Environments


Guest Editors

 Dr. Amina Mohamed Buallay, Higher Education Council, Bahrain

Prof. Allam Mohamed Hamdan, Ahlia University, Bahrain

Background and Motivation: 

The pace of growth of sustainability reporting (SR) increased markedly when research started to show that sustainability reporting is linked to improved business performance. Numerous empirical studies have investigated the relationship between a firm’s ESG disclosure and its financial performance. Despite this, many researchers claim that results of this research are ambiguous, inconclusive, or contradictory (Brooks & Oikonomou, 2018). On the one hand, many researchers have found a significant positive relationship between ESG integration and firm performance (Deng & Cheng, 2019; Aouadi & Marsat, 2018; Zhao et al., 2018; Velte, 2017; Lins et al., 2017)‎. On the other hand, other scholars have identified a negative relationship (Duque-Grisales & ‎Aguilera-Caracue, 2019; Landi & Sciarelli, 2019) or an insignificant relationship (Atan et al., 2018) between the two.  

Benlemlih et al. (2018) state that sustainability reporting and its effect on firm performance is vary with the institutional and regulatory setting. Beside this, Brooks and Oikonomou (2018)‎ state that earlier studies are unable to confirm the relationship between sustainability reporting and firm performance, and there is ‎still much to study about this relationship. For that reason, this special issue aims to address this gap by highlighting SR in multi-country setting (i.e institutional and regulatory disclosure environments) and the opportunities and challenges of SR in from an institutional, environmental, social perspectives. This can be achieved by examining the influence of formal institutions (e.g., laws and regulations, tertiary education, and firm-level technology absorption) and informal institutions (e.g., culture and social norms) on the development of different types of SR activities in different institutional and regulatory economies. 

Goals and Topics: 

This special issue invites empirical and theoretical research papers on any of the following topics and related areas. Authors are encouraged to contact the editors if they have questions on the suitability of these and other topics. An illustrative list includes, but is not limited to, the following themes: 

• Situation of Mandatory Sustainability Reporting.  

• Voluntary Sustainability Reporting.  

• Effect of SR on country’s economy. 

• Effect of SR on country’s politics. 

• The role of formal and informal institutions on SR activities. 

• FinTech, RegTech and SR.  

• The interaction effect of formal and informal institutions on the development of SR activities. 

• The nexus of Ethnic, family and SR in different economies. 

• SR education and SR activities. 

• Comparison of Sustainability Practices, Strategies and Policies across regions and countries. ‎ 

• Evaluating and comparing ESG activities and engagement in different sectors. ‎ 


1. All papers will be subject to double-blind peer review, according to author guidelines available here.

2. Submissions to Competitiveness Review are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts: (please select the correct special issue from the drop-down menu) 

Submission deadline: December 31, 2021 



Aouadi, A., & Marsat, S. (2018). Do ESG controversies matter for firm value? Evidence from international data. Journal of Business Ethics, 151(4), 1027-1047.‏ 

Atan, R., Alam, M. M., Said, J., & Zamri, M. (2018). The impacts of environmental, social, and governance factors on firm performance: panel study of Malaysian companies. Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, 29(2), 182-194.‏ 

Benlemlih, M., & Bitar, M. (2018). Corporate social responsibility and investment efficiency. Journal of Business Ethics, 148(3), 647-671.‏ 

Brooks, C., & Oikonomou, I. (2018). The effects of environmental, social and governance disclosures and performance on firm value: A review of the literature in accounting and finance. The British Accounting Review, 50(1), 1-15.‏ 

Deng, X., & Cheng, X. (2019). Can ESG Indices Improve the Enterprises’ Stock Market Performance?—An Empirical Study from China. Sustainability, 11(17), 4765.‏ 

Duque-Grisales, E., & Aguilera-Caracuel, J. (2019). Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Scores and Financial Performance of Multilatinas: Moderating Effects of Geographic International Diversification and Financial Slack. Journal of Business Ethics, 1-20.‏ 

Landi, G., & Sciarelli, M. (2019). Towards a more ethical market: the impact of ESG rating on corporate financial performance. Social Responsibility Journal, 15(1), 11-27.‏ 

Velte, P. (2017). Does ESG performance have an impact on financial performance? Evidence from Germany. Journal of Global Responsibility, 8(2), 169-178.‏ 

Zhao, C., Guo, Y., Yuan, J., Wu, M., Li, D., Zhou, Y., & Kang, J. (2018). ESG and Corporate Financial Performance: Empirical Evidence from China’s Listed Power Generation Companies. Sustainability, 10(8), 2607.‏