In a context of growing social and environmental concerns, the role of large enterprises and corporations in encouraging sustainability has drawn increasing attention in recent years. Both academic debates and public-opinion research have called into question the extended responsibilities of firms in our increasingly inter-connected world. By studying issues associated with the greatest challenges mankind is currently facing — from climate change to social exclusion — the scientific community is aware of the need to account for the actions and agendas of companies, especially large ones. They are becoming important global political actors with great power, but also unprecedented responsibilities. With this in mind, the authors believe that it is more important than ever that large enterprises, on the one hand, take into account the opinion of their stakeholder while defining their strategies and, on the other hand, disclose material and relevant information on their ability to contribute to sustainability while delivering value for all of their stakeholders. A consensus is being reached on the responsibility of large enterprises to report in a triple bottom perspective — not only on their financial performances, but also on their social and environmental outcomes. Consequently, it is important to understand what elements organizations need to report on in order to provide stakeholders with relevant and comprehensive sustainability reports. Against this background, this book presents a significant and original contribution, both empirically and theoretically, to the social and environmental accounting literature by studying the various features of stakeholder engagement in sustainability reporting.
Table of Contents
Foreword 1. Introduction 2. Business and sustainability 3. Materiality in sustainability reporting 4. A theory of stakeholder engagement 5. An empirical overview of stakeholder engagement in sustainability reports 6. Conclusions
Marco Bellucci is a postdoctoral research fellow in accounting at the University of Florence. He holds a PhD with distinction in business administration and management from the University of Pisa. His research interests include corporate social responsibility, sustainability reporting, social enterprises and third sector organizations. He is social economy unit coordinator at ARCO Action Research for CO-development and project manager of the Yunus Social Business Centre of the University of Florence under the patronage of Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus. Additionally, he was a visiting scholar at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto and is the author of many articles in various respected scholarly journals.
Giacomo Manetti is associate professor of accounting at the Department of Economics and Management of the University of Florence. He holds a PhD in planning and control from the University of Florence. He teaches financial accounting and business administration at the School of Economics and Management. His research interests include stakeholder theory, corporate social responsibility, sustainability reporting and assurance, the third sector and accounting history. Additionally, he is the author of many scholarly articles and four books and was a visiting scholar at the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto in 2012.
"Stakeholder engagement and sustainability reporting provides a valuable contribution to the social and environmental accounting literature by adding theoretical and empirical insights about the features of stakeholder engagement and the role that this plays in the process of sustainability reporting. The main thesis of the authors of this interesting book is that stakeholder engagement can be considered among the most effective tools for the materiality assessment of information in sustainability reporting and for supporting the orientation of strategies and decision making in light of stakeholders’ expectations. We strongly believe that this book offers important insights for understanding and examining the potential role that stakeholder engagement processes have for enhancing the organizations’ efforts and attitudes towards greater accountability." — Laura Mazzola, PhD Student in Business and Law at the University of Bergamo, Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods, and Massimo Contrafatto, Associate Professor of Accounting for Sustainability at the University of Bergamo, Department of Management, Economics and Quantitative Methods, and Visiting Professor at the University of Strathclyde
Book Review appeared in Financial Reporting (ISSN 2036-671X), 2019, 1, pp. 157-164.