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This systematic literature review (SLR) aims to examine the extent of academic knowledge of sustainability materiality research. There is no academic review of this field; therefore, this study aims to close this research gap.Design/methodology/approachThe paper systematically reviews the existing literature on sustainability materiality research. Papers were qualitatively classified and analysed in accordance with the theoretical underpinning, research methods and academic themes of sustainability materiality research.FindingsThe findings of the review show that scholarly work on sustainability materiality has increased exponentially since the 2010s. In terms of research methods, scholars have examined sustainability using content analysis techniques and qualitative approaches. A common theoretical foundation was missing, but an increasing number of articles have been anchored to stakeholder theory. The academic themes have progressively enriched empirical evidence on the evaluation of materiality in sustainability information.Research limitations/implicationsThis review can be useful as an academic basis to open avenues for strengthening theoretical and empirical research on new emerging issues regarding double materiality and dynamic materiality.Originality/valueThis paper conducts the first SLR of academic knowledge on sustainability materiality research. Eight academic themes are proposed to classify sustainability materiality. Thus, it is an aid to future research in this area.
Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 21, 2022
Keywords: Materiality; Social and environmental accounting and reporting (SEAR); Sustainable development; Accountability; Systematic literature review; Sustainability materiality assessment
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