The materiality assessment and stakeholder engagement: A content analysis of sustainability reports

Riccardo Torelli, Federica Balluchi, Katia Furlotti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Materiality is the driver through which companies can select issues to be included in nonfinancial reports favouring the expectations of all 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 the materiality principle in nonfinancial reports and the stakeholders' engagement processes, with a preliminary focus on different industries that are characterized by different types of stakeholder and on the application of Global Reporting Initiative and/or International Integrated Reporting Council guidelines promoting their direct involvement. A manual content analysis has been performed on the Italian “public interest entities” that published, for the 2017 year, a nonfinancial statement (Legislative Decree No 254/2016). The statistical analysis highlights the importance of industry, Global Reporting Initiative Standards application and stakeholder engagement in the reporting process, in particular in the materiality analysis, to achieve a high level of materiality application and good report quality for stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-484
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • GRI
  • content analysis
  • integrated report
  • materiality
  • stakeholder engagement
  • stakeholder theory
  • sustainability report


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