External Intellectual Capital Reporting: Contemporary Evidence from Hong Kong and Australia
Department of Economics and Management - University of Padova
Macquarie University - Department of Accounting and Finance; University Of Bologna - Department of Management
May 18, 2005
Presented to EAA 28th Annual Congress, 18-20 May 2005, Göteborg, Sweden
This study is motivated by a desire to extend the literature into investigations of crossborder comparisons of Intellectual Capital Disclosure practices. It is hoped that identifying differences in types of reporting and variations in reporting frequency will lead to a greater understanding of the reasons why some companies voluntarily report whilst others do not. Such an understanding holds the potential to guide all stakeholders - but principally policy-makers, creditors and investors - in giving prescriptions to firms over whom they have control or with whom they have dealings.
The study is an empirical one and was conducted in two stages. The first stage involved an exploratory study of the voluntary disclosure levels for the 20 largest listed Australian companies in 1998. The second stage, conducted in 2002, was far more extensive and examined voluntary disclosure of IC attributes for 50 listed entities in Australia and 100 in Hong Kong. The effect on company size on IC disclosure was tested and compared against results in the extant literature.
This study is the first to examine the voluntary reporting of IC attributes using Hong Kong and Australian data. It reveals that levels of disclosure are low. Further, the results indicate that, where there is disclosure, it is mainly presented in the form of qualitative information. Finally, the level of disclosure is positively related to company size, a finding that is consistent with the previous literature on voluntary reporting.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 37
Keywords: Intellectual Capital Disclosure practices, exploratory study, voluntary disclosure, 20 largest listed Australian companies, 50 listed
JEL Classification: M4, M40, M41, M49
Date posted: July 14, 2009