Retail Investors’ Perceptions of the Decision-Usefulness of Economic Performance, Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures
Jeffrey R. Cohen
Boston College - Department of Accounting
Western New England University - Department of Accounting and Finance
University of Wisconsin - Whitewater
March 5, 2010
Behavioral Research in Accounting, Forthcoming
Academic literature and the business press have placed increased attention on the corporate disclosure of non-financial information. This study uses a survey of 750 retail investors to examine perceptions about indicators of economic performance; corporate governance policies and performance; and corporate social responsibility. Survey results indicate that retail investors currently are most concerned with economic performance information, followed by governance, and then corporate social responsibility information. Those respondents who currently hold socially responsible investments use more of all three types of non-financial information than respondents who currently do not hold socially responsible investments. Further, retail investors clearly prefer to obtain information about corporate social responsibility information from a third party source and governance information from an audited or regulated document, while they use both sources to garner information about indicators of economic performance. Respondents expressed an interest in increasing their use of non-financial information in the future. When respondents were asked to indicate the specific types of information they had the greatest interest in using in the future, economic performance indicators such as market share, customer satisfaction and product innovation information were predominant.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 32
Keywords: Retail Investors, Non-Financial Information, Survey Data, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Governance
JEL Classification: G38Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: March 8, 2010 ; Last revised: March 22, 2010
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