Benefit Corporations (BCs) were introduced in Italy by Law 28-12-2015 N. 208 based on the previous experience of the USA. BCs are hybrid organizations with a blended economic and social/environmental purpose and aim to generate a positive impact on employees, environment, communities, and other stakeholders in addition to profit-making. For BCs, accountability is crucial to achieve social legitimacy and to prove their positive impact on society. Italian BCs are obliged to prepare and publish a yearly impact report. The present research aimed to explore the impact reporting practices of Italian BCs and to evaluate the quality of the published reports. 47 impact reports were collected from 192 websites, and a qualitative content analysis was performed on these reports. Furthermore, an evaluation instrument was built to measure impact reporting quality and to understand which determinants affected the reporting quality. The study allowed understanding that impact reporting practice was at a very early stage of evolution. Furthermore, the analysis focused on the importance of an external standard for promoting reporting quality. The findings of the study contributed to the existing literature on BCs and on reporting quality and allowed some practical implications for managers, policymakers, and standard setters.
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