Title The disclosure of the materiality process in sustainability reporting by Spanish state-owned enterprises
External publication No
Means Account. Audit Account.
Scope Article
Nature Científica
JCR Quartile 2
SJR Quartile 1
JCR Impact 4.2
SJR Impact 1.727
Web https://www.scopus.com/inward/record.uri?eid=2-s2.0-85110790154&doi=10.1108%2fAAAJ-08-2018-3629&partnerID=40&md5=00e70a65388e75bdf2d11a540d4b827b
Publication date 03/02/2022
ISI 000675913900001
Scopus Id 2-s2.0-85110790154
DOI 10.1108/AAAJ-08-2018-3629
Abstract Purpose: This paper aims to assess the disclosure of the materiality process in the preparation of sustainability reports of state-owned enterprises (SOEs). This paper also explores the effects of regulation mandating that SOEs prepare sustainability reports. In the specific case of port authorities, the study analyses the influence of a sector guideline that determines what should be included and the structure of the report. Another aim of this paper is to delve into SOE\'s motivations for disclosing information on materiality assessments, using the assumptions of the different theories to explain their reporting practices. Design/methodology/approach: Using a sample of SOEs sustainability reports, a content analysis is undertaken. The methodology involves the analysis of the information disclosed by SOEs in Spain and the development of a materiality disclosure index. This index enables sampled entities to be classified on a scale of 0–5, based on the extent of their disclosures of the materiality determination process. This study also identifies several variables that explain differences in these disclosures. Findings: A low rate of information disclosed about the materiality process can be attributed to the desire of SOEs to create symbolic legitimacy. In a context where the disclosure of sustainability information is mandatory, only few organisations apply the principle of materiality to define the content of their sustainability reports. These results highlight that institutional isomorphism has only had a limited effect on the materiality process. Research limitations/implications: Limitations associated with the sample size and composition of the sample by sector apply. Practical implications: This research shows that generally accepted reporting guidelines constitute a reference framework for sustainability reporting but that the principles underpinning these frameworks are not always implemented. Originality/value: This study extends the literature on the implementation of the principle of materiality and uses disclosure theories to explain the actual reporting by SOEs of their materiality process. © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.
Keywords Institutional theory; Legitimacy theory; Materiality process; Stakeholder theory; State-owned enterprises (SOEs); Sustainability reporting
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