No. 97: Understanding and improving the language of business – How corporate reporting research can better serve business and society

Jahr: 2022
Typ: Working Paper


Financial accounting, the core of corporate reporting, is often characterized as the ‘language of business.’ Over the last roughly 100 years, and using an evolving set of theories, methods, and data, scholarly work in this area has been contributing to our understanding of this language as well as its improvement. This paper seeks, first, to characterize the field with a focus on its evolution in the German-speaking area, where, like elsewhere, normative research traditions interested in improving practice have been making way for positivist approaches that seek a detached understanding of ‘what is.’ Second, we discuss the changing users and institutional parameters that are reshaping corporate reporting, followed by a very personal view of ‘wicked’ societal problems and challenges that corporate reporting might be able to help address. Finally, we discuss directions in which research might evolve in order toaddress these issues, in order to make corporate reporting more useful for serving not only economic actors, but also society and the environment more broadly.

Beteiligte Institutionen

Die Hauptstandorte vom TRR 266 sind die Universität Paderborn (Sprecherhochschule), die HU Berlin und die Universität Mannheim. Alle drei Standorte sind seit vielen Jahren Zentren für Rechnungswesen- und Steuerforschung. Hinzu kommen Wissenschaftler der LMU München, der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, der WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, der ESMT Berlin und der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt, die die gleiche Forschungsagenda verfolgen.