Sustainability Assurance: A Loose Coupling of Programmatic Ideals and Operational Reality?
This project involves an examination of the “the task dimension of [sustainability assurance]” (Power, 1996, p.292) in order to elicit deeper insights into the organisational practices driving emerging sustainability assurance practice. The paper aims to provide a deeper, contextually bound understanding of actual assurance practice and its perceived possibilities than contained in prior research.
Theoretically, the project draws on Power’s (1997) insights on the relationship between the programmatic and operational aspects of audit and assurance and reveals some of the practices enabling and preventing the translation of the programmatic ideals of sustainability assurance into operational reality.
- Deeper understanding of the actual practice of sustainability assurance.
- Development of Power’s (1997) perspective on the relationship between the programmatic ideals and operational reality of sustainability assurance using original empirical evidence.
Case study drawing on extensive documentary analysis and in-depth interviews held with assurors in two leading Big 4 sustainability assurance providers operating in the same geographical market.