Purpose: It is 10 years since the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) was founded and the development of the IIRC Framework has been adopted by thousands of organisations. This paper aims to provide empirical evidence on the motivation for the preparation of integrated reports from a diffusion of innovation (DOI) perspective. Design/methodology/approach: Three case study organisations operating in distinct industry sectors are investigated to ascertain the motivation for the adoption of integrated reporting. DOI theory was adopted as the theoretical lens to guide the research design. An interpretative approach is used to ascertain common themes from an analysis of semi-structured interview transcripts of senior managers and directors. Findings: The findings from these case studies support the main tenets of DOIs theory. The evidence suggests that senior executive leadership plays a significant role in commencing the integrated reporting “journey”. This study finds evidence of DOI characteristics, such as relative advantage, compatibility and observability with respect to the objectives of senior managers. The main motivations for the production of the integrated report were to demonstrate leadership and innovation to stakeholders, overcome the perceived inadequacies of the disclosures required for traditional annual reports, to enhance transparency and to satisfy the changing demands of investors and other stakeholders. Research limitations/implications: This project captures the perceptions and views of preparers of the integrated report rather than its users. In addition, only three case study sites were investigated, therefore, generalisations would be spurious. Practical implications: Other organisations yet to consider the production of integrated reports or to re-assess their stakeholder relationships, could use these findings to plan for their own future reporting obligations. Originality/value: The organisations investigated were a superannuation fund, a multinational company and a charity. All are recognised leaders in their respective industries.
- Integrated reporting