What does materiality mean to integrated reporting preparers? An empirical exploration

Lai, Alessandro, Melloni, Gaia and Stacchezzini, Riccardo (2017) What does materiality mean to integrated reporting preparers? An empirical exploration. Meditari Accountancy Research, 25 (4). pp. 533-552. ISSN 2049-372X

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Purpose—This paper seeks to understand how the principle of materiality gets implemented in integrated reporting contexts. Design/methodology/approach—Drawing on an interpretation of materiality as a social construction, this research explores the meaning that practitioners attach to the principle during their implementation of it. Following an existing framework for exploring materiality in corporate reporting, this study investigates the meaning by focusing on who participates in determining integrated reporting materiality and to whom the integrated report (IR) is addressed. This analysis benefits from in-depth interviews with persons involved in the preparation of IR for a firm that pioneered this form of reporting. Findings—In IR preparers’ view, the meaning of materiality corresponds with the company strategy: The IR describes strategic priorities and related actions and results. Capital providers are the primary intended addressees of the material information. Although several actors engage in IR preparation, the materiality determination process is governed by a specific “IR hub” in strict collaboration with and dependence on the CFO. Research limitations/implications—In an IR context, materiality is intimately connected to the function that preparers assign to the report. Originality/value—This novel research opens the “black box” of the process by which materiality gets defined and then practically implemented in an IR context.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: materiality,integrated report,strategy,reporting process,reporting preparers
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > Norwich Business School
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Social Sciences > Research Groups > Accounting & Quantitative Methods
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 26 Jul 2017 05:04
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2022 02:56
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/64269
DOI: 10.1108/MEDAR-02-2017-0113

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