Clicca qui per scaricare

Disclosures in Local Healthcare Organizations’ Social Reports. ‘What?’ and ‘Why?’ An Empirical Analysis of the Italian National Healthcare System
Titolo Rivista: FINANCIAL REPORTING 
Autori/Curatori: Elisa Bonollo 
Anno di pubblicazione:  2015 Fascicolo: Lingua: Italiano 
Numero pagine:  35 P. 41-75 Dimensione file:  495 KB
DOI:  10.3280/FR2015-001003
Il DOI è il codice a barre della proprietà intellettuale: per saperne di più:  clicca qui   qui 


In recent years, public administration reform and the increase in information requests from citizens has drawn attention to the issue of reporting information (other than ‘financial’). Local healthcare organizations, as well as public administrations, have been affected by these developments. This paper presents the results of content analysis conducted on social reports published by Italian local healthcare organizations from 2009-2013 with the purpose of verifying the actual significance of the elements that according to the literature and standard setters, should define the scope and content of social reporting. The study highlights the fact that the healthcare organizations analysed tend to focus on the type and volume of the services provided, while neglecting the connection between predefined objectives and actual performance - as well as stakeholder engagement in the social reporting process. Social reports have the role therefore of being merely a tool for unidirectional communication by the healthcare organization to its stakeholders.


Keywords: Social reporting, local healthcare organizations, accountability

  1. Abrahamson E. (1996), Management fashion, Academy of Management Research, 21 (1), pp. 254-285.
  2. Alesani D., Cantù, E., Marcuccio M. and Trinchero E. (2007), La rendicontazione sociale nelle aziende sanitarie: funzionalità e potenzialità in E. Borgonovi and F. Longo (Eds.), Rapporto OASI 2006. L’aziendalizzazione della sanità in Italia, pp. 617-663. (Milano: Egea).
  3. Alesani D., Marcuccio M. and Trinchero E. (2005), Bilancio sociale e aziende sanitarie: stato dell’arte e prospettive di sviluppo, Mecosan, 55, pp. 9-34.
  4. Andriof J. and Waddock S. (2002), Unfolding stakeholder engagement in J. Andriof, S. Waddock, B. Husted and S. Rahman (Eds.), Unfolding stakeholder thinking, theory, responsibility and engagement, pp. 19-42. (Sheffield: Greenleag Publishing).
  5. Anessi Pessina E., Nasi G. and Steccolini I. (2008), Accounting reforms: determinants of local governments’ choices, Financial Accountability and Management, 24 (3), pp. 321-342,, 10.1111/j.1468-0408.2008.00455.xDOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0408.2008.00455.x
  6. Anselmi L. (2003), Percorsi aziendali per le pubbliche amministrazioni. (Torino: Giappichelli).
  7. Anselmi L. (2010), Esigenze di sistematicità e trasparenza nelle contabilità delle pubbliche amministrazioni in G. Airoldi, G. Brunetti, G. Corbetta and G. Invernizzi (Eds.), Scritti in onore di Vittorio Coda, pp. 2629-2645. (Milano: Egea).
  8. Aquila C. and Largader C. (2012), Esperienza innovativa di rendicontazione sociale. Il caso del Cardiocentro Ticino, Mecosan, 84, pp. 79-98.
  9. Bagnoli M. and Watts S.G. (2007), Financial reporting and supplemental voluntary disclosures, Journal of Accounting Research, 45 (5), pp. 885-913.
  10. Bandettini A. (1983), Contabilità sociale dell’azienda e bilancio sociale in AA.VV., Scritti in onore di Pietro Onida, pp. 333-353. (Milano: Giuffrè).
  11. Bardasi P. and Ambanelli M. (2007), Il primo bilancio di missione dell’Ausl di Bologna: gli indicatori economico-patrimoniali e finanziari, Mecosan, 62, pp. 83- 98.
  12. Barretta A. and Monfardini P. (2008), The role of social reporting in health-care sector: a matter of substance or formality, paper presented at the IRSPM& EGPA International Workshop on Social Audit, Social Accounting and Accountability, Prague, pp. 1-19.
  13. Barzelay M. (2001), How to argue about the new public management, International Public Management Journal, 2 (2), pp. 183-216,, 10.1016/S1096-7494(00)89035-2DOI: 10.1016/S1096-7494(00)89035-2
  14. Beattie V. and Jones J.J. (1997), A comparative study of the use of financial graphs in the corporate annual reports of major US and UK companies, Journal of International Financial Management and Accounting, 8 (1), pp. 33-68.
  15. Beattie V., McInnes W. and Fearnley S. (2004), A methodology for analysing and evaluating narratives in annual reports: a comprehensive descriptive profile and metrics for disclosure quality attributes, Accounting Forum, 28 (3), pp. 205-206,, 10.1016/j.accfor.2004.07.001DOI: 10.1016/j.accfor.2004.07.001
  16. Behn R.D. (1998), The new public management paradigm and the search for democratic accountability, International Public Management Journal, 1 (2), pp. 131-164,, 10.1016/S1096-7494(99)80088-9DOI: 10.1016/S1096-7494(99)80088-9
  17. Behn R.D. (2001), Rethinking Democratic Accountability. (Washington: Brookings Institution Press).
  18. Borgonovi E. (1996), Principi e sistemi aziendali per le pubbliche amministrazioni. (Milano: Egea).
  19. Borgonovi E. (2005), La responsabilità sociale in sanità, Mecosan, 56, pp. 3-10. Borgonovi E. (2013), Le aziende del SSN e il processo manageriale incompiuto.
  20. Le esigenze di cambiamento sono indipendenti dalle caratteristiche del Governo, Mecosan, 22, pp. 3-187.
  21. Bracci E. and Tallaki M. (2013), Socio-environmental reporting trends in the Italian local government: thrive or wither?, Financial reporting, 2, pp. 27-46,, 10.3280/FR2013-002003DOI: 10.3280/FR2013-002003
  22. Brammer S. and Millington A. (2006) Firm size, organizational visibility and corporate philanthropy: an empirical analysis, Business Ethics: A European Review, 15 (1), pp. 6-18,, 10.1111/j.1467-8608.2006.00424.xDOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8608.2006.00424.x
  23. Brinkerhoff D.W. (2004), Accountability and health systems: Toward conceptual clarity and policy relevance!, Health Policy and Planning, 19 (6), pp. 371-379,, 10.1093/heapol/czh052DOI: 10.1093/heapol/czh052
  24. Broad M., Goddard A. and Von Alberti L. (2007), Performance, Strategy and Accounting in Local Government and Higher Education in the UK, Public Money and Management, 27 (2), pp. 119-126,, 10.1111/j.1467-9302.2007.00567.xDOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9302.2007.00567.x
  25. Carroll A.B. (1979), A three-dimensional conceptual model of corporate social performance, Academy of Management Review, 4, pp. 497-505.
  26. Cassandro P.E. (1989), Sul cosiddetto bilancio sociale dell’impresa, Rivista italiana di ragioneria e di economia aziendale, 7/8, pp. 290-300.
  27. Cavalieri E. (1981), Aspetti sociali dell’informazione economica d’impresa, Rivista italiana di ragioneria e di economia aziendale, 3, pp. 108-120.
  28. Cominelli A., Claus M. and Maltagliati D. (2007), Il bilancio di mandato nell’azienda ospedaliera ‘Ospedale Maggiore’ di Crema, Mecosan, 64, pp. 79-99.
  29. Cowan S. and Gadenne D. (2005), Australian corporate environmental reporting: a comparative analysis of disclosure practices across voluntary and mandatory disclosure systems, Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, 1 (2), pp. 165-179.
  30. Damanpour F. (1987), The adoption of technological, administrative, and ancillary innovations: impact of organizational factors, Journal of Management, 13, pp. 675-688,, 10.1177/014920638701300408DOI: 10.1177/014920638701300408
  31. Einhorn E.T.I. (2005), The nature of interaction between mandatory and voluntary disclosures, Journal of Accounting Research, 43 (4), pp. 593-621.
  32. Farneti F., Guthrie J. and Siboni B. (2011), Social and sustainability reporting in Italian local governments: what is not reported? in A. Ball and S.P. Osborne (Eds.), Social Accounting and Public Management, pp. 192-202. (London: Routledge).
  33. Farneti F. and Guthrie R. (2009), Sustainability reporting by Australian public sector organizations: Why they report, Accounting Forum, 33, pp. 89-98.
  34. Fiorani G., Frey M. and Meneguzzo M. (a cura di) (2010), La sanità come volano dello sviluppo economico. (Roma: Edizioni ETS).
  35. Gamm L.D. (1996), Dimensions of accountability for not-for-profit hospitals and health systems, Health Care Management Review, 21 (2), pp. 74-86.
  36. Gigli S. (2007), La rendicontazione sociale nelle aziende sanitarie pubbliche. (Milano: McGraw-Hill). Giordano F., Tommasino P. and Casiraghi M. (2009), Le determinanti dell’efficienza del settore pubblico: il ruolo della cultura in Banca d’Italia, Mezzogiorno e politiche regionali, pp. 253-278. (Roma: Banca d’Italia).
  37. Grasso P., Goletti M., Tanese A., Gumirato G. and Di Filippo E. (2011), Rendicontazione sociale e apprendimento organizzativo: il bilancio sociale di mandato della Asl Roma E, Mecosan, 79, pp. 39-55.
  38. Gray A. and Jenkins W. (1993), Codes of accountability in the new public sector, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 6 (3), pp. 52-67,, 10.1108/09513579310042560DOI: 10.1108/09513579310042560
  39. Gray R. (2005), Taking a Long View on What We Now Know About Social and Environmental Accountability and Reporting, Electronic Journal of Radical Organization Theory, 9 (1), pp. 1-31.
  40. Gray R., Bebbington K.J., Walters D. and Thomson I. (1995), The greening of enterprise: An exploration of the (non) role of environmental accounting and environmental accountants in organisational change, Critical Perspectives on Accounting, 6 (3), pp. 211-239,, 10.1006/cpac.1995.1021DOI: 10.1006/cpac.1995.1021
  41. Gray R., Dey C., Owen D., Evans R. and Zadek S. (1997), Struggling with the praxis of social accounting. Stakeholders, accountability, audits and procedures, Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, 10 (3), pp. 325-364,, 10.1108/09513579710178106DOI: 10.1108/09513579710178106
  42. Gray R., Owen D. and Munders K. (1987), Corporate social reporting: Accounting and Accountability. (London: Prentice-Hall).
  43. Guthrie J. and Abeysekera I. (2006), Using Content Analysis as a Research Method to Inquire into Social and Environmental Disclosure: What is New, Journal of Human Resource Costing and Accounting, 10 (29), pp. 114-126,, 10.1108/14013380610703120DOI: 10.1108/14013380610703120
  44. Guthrie J., Alesani D. and Steccolini I. (2005), An extended performance reporting frame work for the Italian healthcare industry, paper presented at the Conference “Interpreting Accountability and Social Responsibility in Healthcare Sector”, 19th November, Bocconi, Milano, pp. 1-34.
  45. Guthrie J. and Mathews M.R. (1985), Corporate social accounting in Australasia, Research in Corporate Social Performance and Policy, 7, pp. 251-277.
  46. Heinrich C.J. (2007), Measuring Public Sector Performance and Effectiveness in B.G. Peters and J. Pierre (Eds.), The Handbook of Public Administration, pp. 32-49. (London: Sage).
  47. Hinna L. (2004), Il bilancio sociale nelle amministrazioni pubbliche. (Milano: FrancoAngeli).
  48. Hood C. (1991), A public management for all season?, Public Administration, 69 (1), pp. 3-19,, 10.1111/j.1467-9299.1991.tb00779.xDOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9299.1991.tb00779.x
  49. Hood C. (1995), The ‘new public management’ in the 1980s: variations on a theme, Accounting, Organization & Society, 20, pp. 93-109,, 10.1016/0361-3682(93)E0001-WDOI: 10.1016/0361-3682(93)E0001-W
  50. Krippendorff K. (1980), Content Analysis. An Introduction to Its Methodology. (Beverly Hills, CA: Sage publications).
  51. Lazzini S., Luchini G. and Della Cerra R. (2007), Il ruolo dello standard GBS nel processo di rendicontazione sociale in sanità: l’esperienza dell’azienda sanitaria della Versilia in P. Ricci (Ed.), Lo standard GBS per la rendicontazione sociale nella pubblica amministrazione, pp. 222-248. (Milano: Giuffrè).
  52. Manetti G. (2011), The quality of stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting: empirical evidence and critical points, Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 18 (2), pp. 110-122,, 10.1002/csr.255DOI: 10.1002/csr.255
  53. Marcon G. and Panozzo F. (1998), Reforming the reform: changing roles for accounting and management in the Italian health care sector, European Accounting Review, 7 (2), pp. 185-208,, 10.1080/096381898336448DOI: 10.1080/096381898336448
  54. Marcuccio M. and Steccolini I. (2005), Social and environmental reporting in local authorities: a new Italian fashion?, Public Management Review, 7 (2), pp. 155-176,, 10.1080/14719030500090444DOI: 10.1080/14719030500090444
  55. Matacena A. (1984), Impresa e ambiente. Il bilancio sociale. (Bologna: Clueb).
  56. Mathews M.R. (1993), Socially Responsible Accounting. (London: Chapman and Hall).
  57. Mathews M.R. (1997), Twenty-five years of social and environmental accounting research. Is there a silver jubilee to celebrate?, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 10 (4), pp. 481-531,, 10.1108/EUM0000000004417DOI: 10.1108/EUM0000000004417
  58. Milne M.J. and Adler R.W. (1999), Exploring the reliability of social and environmental disclosures content analysis, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 12 (2), pp. 237-256,, 10.1108/09513579910270138DOI: 10.1108/09513579910270138
  59. Monfardini P., Barretta A.D. and Ruggiero P. (2013), Seeking legitimacy. Social reporting in the healthcare sector, Accounting Forum, 37, pp. 54-66,, 10.1016/j.accfor.2012.11.001DOI: 10.1016/j.accfor.2012.11.001
  60. Mussari R. (Ed.) (2005), Le performance dell’azienda pubblica. (Padova: Cedam).
  61. Mussari R. and Monfardini P. (2010), Practices of social reporting in public sector and non-profit organizations. An Italian perspective, Public Management Review, 12 (4), pp. 487-492,, 10.1080/14719037.2010.496262DOI: 10.1080/14719037.2010.496262
  62. O’Dwyer B., Unerman J. and Bradley J. (2005), Perceptions on the emergence and future development of corporate social disclosure in Ireland. Engaging voices of non-governmental organisations, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 18 (1), pp. 14-43,, 10.1108/09513570510584647DOI: 10.1108/09513570510584647
  63. Ongaro E. (2003), Problematiche emergenti di accountability nel contesto del decentramento e delle riforme del management pubblico in F. Pezzani (Ed.), L’accountability delle amministrazioni pubbliche. (Milano: Egea).
  64. O’Dwyer B. (2005), The construction of a social account: a case study in an overseas aid agency, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 30 (3), pp. 279-296.
  65. Owen D. (2008), Chronicles of wasted time? A personal reflection on the current state of, and future prospects for, social and environmental accounting research, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 21 (2), pp. 240-267,, 10.1108/09513570810854428DOI: 10.1108/09513570810854428
  66. Owen D., Swift T. and Hunt K. (2001), Questioning the role of stakeholder engagement in social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting, Accounting Forum, 25 (3), pp. 264-282,, 10.1111/1467-6303.00066DOI: 10.1111/1467-6303.00066
  67. Parker L.D. (2002), Social and environmental accountability research. A view from the commentary box, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 18 (6), pp. 842-860,, 10.1108/09513570510627739.PattenD.(2002),Therelationbetweenenvironmentalperformanceandenvironmentaldisclosure:aresearchnote,Accounting,OrganizationandSociety,27,pp.763-773,doi:10.1016/S0361-3682(02)00028-4DOI: 10.1108/09513570510627739.PattenD.(2002),Therelationbetweenenvironmentalperformanceandenvironmentaldisclosure:aresearchnote,Accounting,OrganizationandSociety,27,pp.763-773,doi:10.1016/S0361-3682(02)00028-4
  68. Pollitt C. and Bourckaert G. (2011), Public Public management reform: a comparative analysis - new public management, governance, and the neo-Weberian state (3rd Ed.). (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  69. Preston A.M., Wright C. and Young J.J. (1996), Imag[in]ing annual reports, Accounting, Organization and Society, 21 (1), pp. 113-137,, 10.1016/0361-3682(95)00032-5DOI: 10.1016/0361-3682(95)00032-5
  70. Roberts J. and Scapens R. (1985), Accounting systems and systems of accountability: understanding accounting practices in their organizational contexts, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 10 (4), pp. 443-456.
  71. Rusconi G. (1988), Il bilancio sociale d’impresa. Problemi e prospettive. (Milano: Giuffrè).
  72. Steccolini I. (2009), Cambiamento e innovazione nei sistemi contabili pubblici. (Milano: Egea).
  73. Suhrcke M., Rocco L. and McKee (2005), Health: a vital investment for economic development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. (Trowbridge, Wilts: European Observatory of Health System and Policy).
  74. Tanese A. (2004), Rendere conto ai cittadini. (Roma: Edizioni scientifiche italiane).
  75. Terzani S. (1984), Responsabilità sociale dell’azienda, Rivista italiana di Ragioneria e di Economia aziendale, 7/8, pp. 286-299.
  76. Tieghi M. and Gigli S. (2007), Gli strumenti di rendicontazione sociale in ambito sanitario pubblico: una panoramica sul contesto nazionale in A. Paletta and M.
  77. Tieghi (Eds.), Il bilancio sociale su base territoriale, pp. 138-186. (Novara: Isedi).
  78. Unerman J. (2000), Methodological issues: reflections on quantifications in corporate social reporting content analysis, Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, 13 (5), pp. 667-680,, 10.1108/09513570010353756DOI: 10.1108/09513570010353756
  79. Vagnoni E. (2001), Social Reporting in European Health Care Organizations: An Analysis of Practice, paper presented at the III Asian Pacific Interdisciplinary Research in Accounting Conference, University of Adelaide, pp. 1-39.
  80. Van Perseum K.A. (1999), A theory of public health sector report: forging a new path, Accounting Auditing and Accountability Journal, 12 (4), pp. 413-440,, 10.1108/09513579910283459DOI: 10.1108/09513579910283459
  81. Vermiglio F. (1984), Il bilancio sociale nel quadro evolutivo del sistema impresa. (Messina: Grapho Editor).

Elisa Bonollo, in "FINANCIAL REPORTING" 1/2015, pp. 41-75, DOI:10.3280/FR2015-001003

   

FrancoAngeli è membro della Publishers International Linking Association associazione indipendente e no profit per facilitare l'accesso degli studiosi ai contenuti digitali nelle pubblicazioni professionali e scientifiche