Non-Financial Reporting in Italian SMEs: An Exploratory Study on Strategic and Cultural Motivations

Donato Calace


In the last years, a broadening process of companies’ responsibilities has taken place. Institutions, customers, authorities and the general public opinion expect companies to behave in an ethical way, including social and environmental elements beside economic ones in their decision-making processes and goal setting. In this context, non-financial reporting has become a critical activity to manage the dialogue with stakeholders. Indeed, corporate social disclosure (CSD) represents the most direct expression of companies’ commitment on social and environmental grounds. Through CSD, large and multinational companies succeed in improving their legitimacy, stakeholder’s trust, reputation, image and reliability, creating a set of intangible assets that eventually increase their economic performance. Shifting to SME level, the involved dynamics significantly change, mainly because of the limited visibility of small and medium firms compared to large and multinational ones. This working paper intends to offer an insight on strategic and cultural motivations that drive SME non-financial reporting. Through a qualitative approach based on a pilot case study, I start to shed light on the under researched world of SME non-financial reporting, in particular addressing to Hofstede’s national culture framework, in view of a future cross-country extension of this study.

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International Journal of Business Administration
ISSN 1923-4007(Print) ISSN 1923-4015(Online)


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