This paper aims at exploring how corporate members involved in integrated report (IR) preparation assess the reliability of Big Data as a new source of information. It investigates IR preparation within a company operating in the Italian banking industry that has adopted Big Data since 2015. Using the epistemic authority lens (Kruglanski et al., 2005), this study reveals how corporate members draw mainly on their profes- sional background and the Big Data-related initiatives to define the extent to which Big Data contributes to IR preparation, with educational background and corporate circumstances playing a less incisive part. Constructing performance indicators, iden- tifying prospective information to contrast criminal phenomena and lending support to relational sustainability all act as informational and motivational factors that lead members to rely on Big Data while preparing the IR. The paper contributes to the infant literature on Big Data in corporate reporting by offering early practical insights into how Big Data informs IR preparation. It also provides evidence of a necessary inter- twining between accounting-based knowledge and training initiatives on advanced an- alytics to fully exploit Big Data in IR preparation.
Keywords: integrated reporting, Big Data, epistemic authority, bank.
Sproviero, A. F. (2020). Integrated reporting and the epistemic authority of Big Data: An exploratory study from the banking industry, Financial Reporting, n.2, pp. 99-124 DOI: 10.3280/FR2020-002004