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This course provides an introduction into sustainability disclosure research based on a thorough discussion of the literature and a research project, which covers the empirical analysis of a specific research question. The research questions relate to up-to-date problems and open questions in the field. The course starts with a general introduction into accounting research and especially sustainability disclosure research to provide students with a basis for reading and understanding academic literature in this area. Next, seminal papers on sustainability disclosure are assigned to groups of students that are then presented and discussed in the plenum (group members have to actively engage in both, discussion and presentation). These papers help students to better contextualize their research project. The course then continues with a hands-on approach into the retrieval and empirical analysis of data from different data sources to provide students with the relevant skills for carrying out their own research project.
After successfully completing this course, students will have the ability to:
- Describe the role of accounting information and sustainability information in capital markets
- Describe the landscape of sustainability disclosure research
- Understand and contextualize accounting research papers
- Critically reflect on specific research settings
- Retrieve and aggregate data from different data sources (first steps)
- Analyze data and interpret the results with respect to a specific research question
- Draw-up a short paper on the main findings for a specific research question
This course is research oriented. After providing students with the relevant theoretical knowledge, students are expected to actively participate in class and discuss the contents and methods of the selected research papers. In addition, the course includes a hands-on session on data retrieval, matching and analyses of data that provides the basis for carrying out research projects. A research question is assigned to each group of students.
(1) Clicker (20 %): Questions on the introductory session.
(2) Presentation (30 %): Groups of students are assigned to present and discuss specific research papers.
(3) Term Paper (40 %): Groups of students have to submit a term paper that presents the findings of the assigned research project.
(4) Participation (10 %): Students are expected to actively participate in class.
Students have ideally successfully completed the first course of the specialization "Sustainability Disclosure".