Incorporating Materiality Considerations into Analyses of Absence from Sustainability Reporting

Jeffrey Unerman, Franco Zappettini

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This paper highlights the need to take materiality into account when analysing the absence of social and/or environmental disclosures from organisational sustainability reports. It argues that materiality must be considered as a prerequisite when researchers seek to interpret lack of disclosures of specific social and/or environmental issues or incidents. Illustrating these arguments using an example from interpretation of absence from reporting in a recent award-winning paper, we contend that such interpretations can only be justified if organisational processes related to materiality are factored into the analysis of rhetorical or symbolic representations of sustainability within organisational reporting, a point that tends to be missed in studies of absence from sustainability reporting.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-186
Number of pages15
JournalSocial and Environmental Accountability Journal
Issue number3
Early online date14 Nov 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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