Materiality matrix: A comparison between relevant indicators for banks and stakeholder

Vincenzo Formisano, Maria Fedele, Mario Calabrese


Purpose. This work analyzes the elements that Italian banks identify as strategical to increase their relational and reputational capital and to be in consonance with the stakeholders expectations. We aim to investigate the width and the depth of the phenomenon to detect the banks attention on critical topics for their stakeholders.

Methodology. The present study examines a set of indicators defined starting from the materiality matrix published in the non-financial reports of banks. In particular, we used the reports published by 56 banks operating in Italy on their websites, which can be considered representative of the universe of entities that form that sector with regard to market shares held.

Findings. The materiality matrix gives the possibility to enrich the reports aimed at communicating in an accurate way to the various super-systems, in addition to their perfomances, the propension in the creation of shared value over time, following a course that leads to the identification of relevant matters on which strategies and sustainability goals have to be founded.

Practical implications. The materiality matrix does only not come with conceptual reflections: the possibility to create a multi-stakeholder context by which it is possible to involve in the decision-making process the main representative of relevant super-systems in order to identify virtuous paths that are useful for the co-creation of value and for the creation of a sustainable society becomes fundamental.

Originality. The originality of the study is twofold: first, there are no similar studies regarding banking firms; second, the heterogeneity of indicators, identified as material for both banks and stakeholders, has been traced back to the relevant stages of Corporate Social Responsibility (Carroll, 1991). 


Materiality; materiality matrix; value co-creation; corporate social responsibility

Full Text:



AccountAbility (2008). “AA1000 Accountability Principles Standard 2008” available at:

Bhaduri S.N., Selarka E. (2016). “Corporate Social Responsibility - Guidelines and Best Practices”. In Corporate Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility of Indian Companies (pp. 33-42). Singapore: Springer.

Blakemore J., Pain B. (1998). “Materiality in Accounting”, ACCA Students New Letter Published by the Certified Accountant Education Trust UK.

Calabrese A., Costa R., Rosati F. (2015). “A feedback-based model for CSR assessment and materiality analysis”. Accounting Forum, 39(4), 312-327.

Carroll A.B. (1979). “The Three-Dimensional Conceptual Model of Corporate Performance”. Academy of Management Review, 4(4), 497-505.

Carroll A.B. (1991). “The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility: Toward the Moral Management of organizational Stakeholders”. Business Horizons, 34(4), 39-48.

Code of Federal Regulations: 1985-1999 (1988). 17 CFR 210.1-02 - Definitions Of Terms Used In Regulation S-X (17 CFR PART 210). Ohio State University: U.S. General Services Administration, National Archives and Records Service, Office of the Federal Register, 1989.

Deegan C., Rankin M. (1997). “The materiality of environmental information to users of annual reports”. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 10(4), 562-583.

D'heur M. (2015). Sustainable Value Chain Management: Delivering Sustainability Through the Core Business. Cham: Springer.

Dohr J.L. (1950). “Materiality - What does it mean in accounting?”. Journal of Accountancy, 122(1), 54- 56.

Etzion D., Ferraro F. (2010). “The role of analogy in the institutionalization of sustainability reporting”. Organization Science, 21(5), 1092-1107.

Farook S., Kabir Hassan M., Lanis R. (2011). “Determinants of corporate social responsibility disclosure: The case of Islamic banks”. Journal of Islamic Accounting and Business Research, 2(2), 114-141.

Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) (1980). “Statement of Financial Accounting Concepts No. 2. Qualitative Characteristics of Accounting Information”. Issued: May 1980, Affects: No other pronouncements, Affected by: Paragraph 4 and footnote 2 replaced by CON 6. Norwalk,CT: FASB.

Font X., Guix M., Bonilla-Priego M. J. (2016). “Corporate social responsibility in cruising: Using materiality analysis to create shared value”. Tourism Management, 53, 175-186.

Freeman R.E. (2010). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Cambridge University Press.

GRI (2013). “G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines”, available at:

GRI, “G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines - implementation manual”, 2013, p.11, available at:

Hicks E.L. (1964). Materiality. Journal of Accounting Research, 2(2), 158-171

Holmes W. (1972). Materiality-Through the looking glass. Journal of Accountancy, 133(2), 44-49.

IASB (1989). “Framework for the Preparation and Presentation of Financial Statements”. International Accounting Standards Committee, London, UK.

ICAEW (1967). Accounting Recommendation, 2.301, available at:

IIRC (2012). “ Prototype Framework”, available at:

IIRC (2013). “Materiality, background paper for ”, available at:

Iskandar T.M., Iselin E.R. (1999). “A review of materiality research”. Accounting Forum, 23(3), 209-239.

Jones P., Comfort D., Hillier D. (2016). “Materiality in corporate sustainability reporting within UK retailing”. Journal of Public Affairs, 16(1), 81-90.

Nandy M., Lodh S. (2012). “Do banks value the eco-friendliness of firms in their corporate lending decision? Some empirical evidence”. International Review of Financial Analysis, 25, 83-93.

Ortar L. (2016). “From flexibility to specificity: practical lessons from comparing materiality in sustainability reports of the world’s largest financial institutions”. International Journal of Corporate Strategy and Social Responsibility, 1(1), 44-64.

Pentland B. T., Singh H. (2012). “Materiality: What are the consequences?”. In Materiality and organizing: Social interaction in a technological world. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 287-295.

Rappaport D. (1964). ‘Materiality’. Journal of Accountancy, 117(4), 45-52.

Siano A. (2012). “La comunicazione per la sostenibilità nel management delle imprese”. Sinergie Italian Journal of Management, 89, 3-23.

Whitehead J. (2016). “Prioritizing sustainability indicators: Using materiality analysis to guide sustainability assessment and strategy”. Business Strategy and the Environment, 1-14.

Zadek S., Merme M. (2003). “Redefining Materiality: Pratice and Public Policy for Effective Corporate Reporting”. London: Institute of Social & Ethical AccountAbility.


  • There are currently no refbacks.