Non-Financial Reporting in Italian SMEs: An Exploratory Study on Strategic and Cultural Motivations
Calace, D. Non-Financial Reporting in Italian SMEs: An Exploratory Study on Strategic and Cultural Motivations. International Journal of Business Administration, Vol. 5, No. 3; 2014. doi:10.5430/ijba.v5n3p34
35 Pages Posted: 5 Feb 2014 Last revised: 2 May 2014
Date Written: February 4, 2014
In the last years, a broadening process of companies’ responsibilities has taken place. Institutions, customers, authorities and the general public opinion expect companies to behave in an ethical way, including social and environmental elements beside economic ones in their decision-making processes and goal setting. In this context, non-financial reporting has become a critical activity to manage the dialogue with stakeholders. Indeed, corporate social disclosure (CSD) represents the most direct expression of companies’ commitment on social and environmental grounds. Through CSD, large and multinational companies succeed in improving their legitimacy, stakeholder’s trust, reputation, image and reliability, creating a set of intangible assets that eventually increase their economic performance. Shifting to SME level, the involved dynamics significantly change, mainly because of the limited visibility of small and medium firms compared to large and multinational ones. This working paper intends to offer an insight on strategic and cultural motivations that drive SME non-financial reporting. Through a qualitative approach based on a pilot interview, I start to shed light on the under researched world of SME non-financial reporting, in particular addressing to Hofstede’s national culture framework, in view of a future cross-country extension of this study.
Keywords: SME, non-financial reporting, social capital, Hofstede cultural dimensions, CSR
JEL Classification: M1, M4, M13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation