Original Research

The non-financial reporting practices of co-operative managed enterprises in South Africa

Karel B. Fouché, Meon Uys
Acta Commercii | Vol 23, No 1 | a1128 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v23i1.1128 | © 2023 Karel Fouche, Meon Uys | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 January 2023 | Published: 31 August 2023

About the author(s)

Karel B. Fouché, Department of Auditing, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
Meon Uys, Department of Auditing, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


Orientation: This paper reports on how co-operative managed enterprises in South Africa address non-financial reporting requirements.

Research purpose: The purpose of the study is to obtain a deeper understanding of the non-financial reporting practices followed by co-operatives in South Africa, from the perspective of stakeholders.

Motivation for the study: The benefits of co-operative enterprises can only be fully realised if the non-financial reporting is effective in describing whether the values and principles unique to this type of enterprise have been met. Although the non-financial reporting practices of co-operatives have been the subjects of many international studies, limited research has been performed from a South African perspective.

Research design, approach and method: A case study approach was employed in which semi-structured interviews were conducted. Three co-operatives were selected as the case studies, and interviews were held with stakeholders, including management, employees and suppliers. A thematic analysis was performed by means of ATLAS.ti, where a codebook was developed and used to analyse interview data and to develop a findings framework. The findings were documented with reference to the framework.

Practical/managerial implications: The research demonstrates that the relevance, reliability, quality and completeness of non-financial information are influenced by the co-operative’s age, size, industry, level of stakeholder participation and the reporting guidance by the co-operative preferred.

Contribution/value add: This study illustrates how improving the quality of non-financial reporting of co-operatives in South Africa could enhance the achievement of their goals.


corporate social responsibility; governance; integrated reporting; management reporting; non-financial reporting; sustainability reporting.

JEL Codes

J54: Producer Cooperatives • Labor Managed Firms • Employee Ownership; M14: Corporate Culture • Diversity • Social Responsibility; Q56: Environment and Development • Environment and Trade • Sustainability • Environmental Accounts and Accounting • Environmental Equity • Population Growth

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities


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Crossref Citations

1. The cooperative ESG disclosure index: an empirical approach
Francisca Castilla-Polo, Gabriel García-Martínez, M. Dolores Guerrero-Baena, Fernando Polo-Garrido
Environment, Development and Sustainability  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1007/s10668-024-04719-x