Ecological Governance and the Independent Assurance of Sustainability Reporting by Chinese Listed Companies
The purpose of this paper is to examine independent assurance of sustainability reports in a major emerging economy – China. It draws on a theory of ecological governance which offers models, one of which China’s governance model appears to fit. Desk based research has been used to establish the take-up of independent assurance by all Chinese listed companies from 2003 to 2015. The findings are that the take-up of independent assurance by Chinese listed companies has been very low and was falling in 2015. Companies using independent assurance do not fit into the typical types identified by previous Western research and are dominated by financial companies. The key explanation for the low take-up is that Chinese governance based on ecological authoritarianism exercised by the government has little need for public exercises in legitimation such as independent assurance. The practical implications are that through understanding of governance mechanisms in an authoritarian model such as China’s this leads to understanding about a different approach to ecological governance. The paper is original in that it looks at independent assurance in China from a new perspective with emphasis on absence of such assurance, rather than statistical analysis of determinants.
open access journal
Citation : Margerison, J., Liao, J., Shen, H. (2020) Ecological Governance and the Independent Assurance of Sustainability Reporting by Chinese Listed Companies. Strategies in Accounting and Management, 1(3),
Peer Reviewed : Yes