Cultural Factors influence on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reporting in Poland

  • Fri 9 Dec 22

    14:00 - 16:00

  • Colchester Campus


  • Event speaker

    Professor Magdalena Kowalczyk and Dr Małgorzata Czerny, Poznań University of Economics and Business

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars
    Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) Research Seminar Series

  • Event organiser

    Essex Business School

  • Contact details

    Dr Chaoyuan She

The aim of the Essex Accounting Centre (EAC) research seminar series is to support our world-class research activities in five key areas: accounting and global development; capital Markets, audit, regulation & reporting; publicness and resilience, precarity, exclusion & social justice; and environment, climate change & vulnerability. The seminar series is also expected to promote inter-disciplinary research that links the work of members of the centre with others both within the university and with external institutions.

Seminar abstract


Reporting of non-financial information, in particular regarding social and environmental issues (such as ESG - Environmental, Social, Governance or CSR - Corporate Social Responsibility) is the subject of numerous scientific investigations. This is particularly important in the context of the entry into force of the SDGs (17 Sustainable Development Goals) adopted by the member states of the United Nations (UN) in 2015 (UN, 2015). These activities are aimed at ensuring that the needs of mankind can be met in a sustainable manner, respecting the environment and taking into account the needs of future generations. Based on the Millennium Development Goals established in 2000, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) address global challenges in the areas of health, education, equity and social justice, economic security and environmental issues (Sullivan et al., 2018). The pace of SDG implementation varies from country to country (this process was additionally delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic) (UN, 2020). The SDGs, in addition to the 17 general objectives, include 169 specific objectives, the implementation of which is verified at three levels: by means of a set of global indicators by the United Nations Statistical Commission, at the regional level - in the European Union (EU) - by a set of 100 indicators, monitored by Eurostat to assess progress in achieving SDGs in the Member States (Eurostat, 2020), and in addition, the governments of the UN Member States use their own national measures to implement them SDGs (Krasodomska et al., 2022). In Poland, these works are coordinated by the Central Statistical Office (GUS), but so far the studies of reporting the achievements of enterprises in relation to specific SDGs are not popular yet (Krasodomska et al., 2022). In the project, the term "SDGs reporting" is understood as voluntary disclosure by a company of information on one or more SDGs in non-financial (or sustainable development) reporting (Krasodomska et al., 2022; Rosati, Faria, 2019a).

Factors influencing companies' decisions in the field of SDGs reporting were analyzed, among others by F. Rosati and L.G. Faria (2019a, 2019b), A. Elalfy et al. (2021) (internationally), S. Pizzi et al. (2021a, 2021b) (only Italy) or I.M. García-Sánchez et al. (2021). In Poland, such a study has been so far carried out by Krasodomska et al. (2022) internationally. With the exception of the research conducted by Elalfy et al. (2021), these studies focused on a short time horizon (one year). To determine whether and to what extent enterprises refer to individual SDGs in their reports, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) was most often used (Rosati, Faria, 2019a, 2019b; Elalfy et al., 2021).

The identified impact factors include among all: company size (Rosati, Faria, 2019b; Elalfy et al., 2021; García-Sánchez et al., 2021), corporate governance mechanisms (Rosati, Faria, 2019b, Pizzi et al., 2021b , García-Sánchez et al., 2021), and cultural factors (Rosati & Faria, 2019a; Pizzi et al., 2021a).
All studies indicate the significant importance of the involvement of enterprises, in particular large, international corporations (due to their importance for the socio-economic environment), in efforts to achieve the SDGs (e.g. Mio et al., 2020; Garcia-Sanchez et al., 2020; Wicki, Hansen, 2019; Haffar, Searcy, 2018; Sullivan et al., 2018), while pointing to the gaps in knowledge about the SDGs and the role of business in achieving sustainable economic development (Mio et al., 2020) and the fact that many companies still do not perceive sustainable development policy as an important element of their financial and operational priorities (Sullivan et al., 2018). This results in a very different approach of enterprises to making this effort to report this type of information (Krasodomska et al., 2022).


Therefore the purpose of this project is analyzing the cultural factors influence on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reporting in Poland.
In our research we are going to analyzing:
The correlation between awareness of social and environmental issues and the willingness to report information on achievements related to the implementation of SDGs in Poland.
The cultural dimensions identified by G. Hofstede in the context of impact for sustainable development reporting in Poland.
Gray’s theory of accounting subculture in the context of impact on sustainable development reporting in Poland.


At the first stage of the research, we intend to analyze the sustainable development reports of companies from the Warsaw Stock Exchange WIG Index. To determine which of environmental and social indicators are reported by companies and which are not. At this part, we will use the quantitative research method.
To explain the reasons for the lack of disclosures, we will use the qualitative research - a semi - structured interview.
We want to interview the employees of companies from WIG 20, who are responsible for development sustainable development report.


Our research can explain the reluctance to report certain environmental and social areas.


How to attend this seminar

This seminar will take place on Friday 9 December 2022 at 2pm and is free to attend with no need to register in advance.

We welcome you to join us in-person at the Essex Business School (Colchester campus) in room EBS.2.41

If you are unable to make it in-person this seminar is available to attend live online.


Speaker bios

Prof Magdalena Kowalczyk

Magdalena Kowalczyk is an Associate Professor at Poznań University of Economics and Business. Her research interest covers public sector accounting and blockchain technology in accounting. She publishes in several accounting journals including Theoretical Journal of Accounting, International Journal of public Sector Management, and Accounting in Europe.

Dr Małgorzata Czerny

Małgorzata Czerny is an Assistant Professor at Poznań University of Economics and Business. Her research interest covers the area of accounting in the cultural context and insurance market regulations, including brokerage.


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