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

See all articles by Riccardo Torelli

Riccardo Torelli

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Department of Economic and Social Sciences

Federica Balluchi

Parma University, Department of Economics and Management

Katia Furlotti

Parma University, Department of Economics and Management

Date Written: January 23, 2019

Abstract

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

Torelli, Riccardo and Balluchi, Federica and Furlotti, Katia, The Materiality Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement: A Content Analysis of Sustainability Reports (January 23, 2019). Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3433149 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3433149

Riccardo Torelli (Contact Author)

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Department of Economic and Social Sciences ( email )

Via Emilia Parmense 84
Piacenza, Piacenza 29122
Italy

Federica Balluchi

Parma University, Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via J.F. Kennedy, 6
Parma, 43125
Italy

Katia Furlotti

Parma University, Department of Economics and Management ( email )

Via J.F. Kennedy, 6
Parma, 43125
Italy

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