The Materiality Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement: A Content Analysis of Sustainability Reports
Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 2019
21 Pages Posted: 9 Aug 2019 Last revised: 16 Oct 2019
Date Written: January 23, 2019
Materiality is the driver through which companies can select issues to be included in non-financial reports favouring expectations of all the stakeholders. The aim of this research is to investigate, under the lens of Stakeholder Theory and Instrumental Stakeholder Theory, the possible relationship between the application of materiality principle in non-financial reports and the engagement of stakeholders, with a preliminary focus on different industries that are characterized by different types of stakeholder. We have subjected to a manual content analysis all the Italian listed companies that published a sustainability/integrated report in the years 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 following guidelines of GRI and IIRC (a total of 148 reports). The next statistical analysis highlights, as research finding, the importance of industry and above all of stakeholder engagement in the reporting process, in particular in the materiality analysis, to achieve a high level of materiality application level and a good report quality for stakeholders.
Keywords: materiality, stakeholder engagement, sustainability report, content analysis, Stakeholder Theory
JEL Classification: M10, M14, M41
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation