identify some important research gap and how possible findings of your study could fill this gap. You have to provide logical/ theoretical reasoning to develop your hypothesis.

Recently, Integrated Reporting has been receiving immense attention from the public. Under , companies provide more information on the broader health of the organisations and the challenges and opportunities they face in the future (forward-looking information), rather than focusing on analysing past financial results. This includes more focus on active governance, resource use and exposure, strategic performance, and management of material risk to create and preserve value. This information is supposed to enhance shareholders’ understanding of the firm (Simnett and Huggins, 2015; KPMG and Financial Executives Research Foundation 2011). Some studies (e.g. Lee and Yeo, 2016, Zhou, Simnett and Green, 2017; Barth, Cahan, Chen and Venter, 2017) show that firms valuation is positively associated with disclosure, but these analyses are mainly based on data from South Africa, because only firms in South Africa are required to issue integrated report mandatorily. Prior studies in other countries are therefore sparse. Recently, firms in Australia are voluntarily starting to report non-financial and non-quantitative information in financial statements and more than 40% of Australia’s biggest 200 companies are currently using the principles of in their annual reports in 2018. This shows that there must be some benefits associated with in the Australian context. Now suppose that you are working on a project related to how market participants in Australia benefit from integrated reporting, when compared to traditional financial statements. Specifically, please develop a research proposal that analyses the nature of information included in and examines how one participant in the market (e.g. shareholders, managers, auditors, regulators, financial intermediaries, etc.) benefit from the additional information provided through . You need to select your one variable of interest for this research. Possible variables include, but not limit to, accounting performance, stock performance, audit fees, analysts following, etc. The research proposal should include the following structure: 1. An introduction and background to the above-mentioned issue. (Maximum 500 words). You need to state your research question clearly in the introduction. Background information should include motivation for conducting this research. 2. A literature review on voluntary engagement of integrated reporting (at least 3 published academic refereed articles) and the variable of interest (at least 3 published academic refereed articles). For literature you have to focus on the articles published (no working papers) in the academic journals during last ten years (2010 to 2019). Your literature review should provide evidence that you have carefully examined the academic refereed articles (altogether at least 3 + 3 = 6 articles), understand them, and have been able to summarise the essential content by integrating them into your own arguments and perspective. (Maximum 800 words) 3. Development of hypotheses. After reviewing the existing literature, you need to identify some important research gap and how possible findings of your study could fill this gap. You have to provide logical/ theoretical reasoning to develop your hypothesis. The hypothesis has to be developed along the lines of examining the relationship between voluntary assurance of sustainability reports and your variables 3 | Page of interest. (Maximum 800 words) 4. Research methods/design, including (Maximum 700 words) a. sources of information to be used to gather relevant data b. sampling techniques c. definition of variables (dependent, independent and some relevant control variables) to be used in the models d. models to be used to examine the hypothesis/ hypotheses

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