Assessing Universities’ Global Reporting Initiative G4 Sustainability Reports in Concurrence with Stakeholder Inclusiveness

  • Judith FreiEmail author
  • Melanie Lubinger
  • Dorothea Greiling
Part of the Public Sector Financial Management book series (PUSEFIMA)


The chapter provides an insight into stakeholder engagement (SE) processes of universities’ Sustainability Reports (SRs) and analyses the extent to which universities comply with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) G4 Guidelines.

After introducing strategic stakeholder theory and neo-institutionalism for identifying arguments for an interpretation of the findings, the results of a systematic literature review are presented.

The empirical findings are based on the recent G4 SRs worldwide and show that universities document their main stakeholders and main communication topics. However, the importance of the identified topics is not mirrored in the GRI coverage rates.

This is a clear sign that SRs of universities are far from comprehensive stakeholder accountability. The reporting behaviour is more in line with the expectations of neo-institutionalism than with strategic stakeholder theory.


Sustainability reporting Universities Global Reporting Initiative Stakeholder engagement 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Judith Frei
    • 1
    Email author
  • Melanie Lubinger
    • 1
  • Dorothea Greiling
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Management AccountingJohannes Kepler UniversityLinzAustria

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