Retail Investors’ Perceptions of the Decision-Usefulness of Economic Performance, Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures

32 Pages Posted: 8 Mar 2010 Last revised: 29 Nov 2014

See all articles by Jeffrey R. Cohen

Jeffrey R. Cohen

Boston College - Department of Accounting

Lori Holder-Webb

Western New England University - Department of Accounting and Finance

David Wood

Boston College

Leda Nath

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater

Date Written: March 5, 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Retail Investors, Non-Financial Information, Survey Data, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Governance

JEL Classification: G38

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Jeffrey R. and Holder-Webb, Lori and Wood, David and Nath, Leda, Retail Investors’ Perceptions of the Decision-Usefulness of Economic Performance, Governance and Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosures (March 5, 2010). Behavioral Research in Accounting, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1565663

Jeffrey R. Cohen (Contact Author)

Boston College - Department of Accounting ( email )

Carroll School of Management
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
United States
617-552-3165 (Phone)
617-552-2097 (Fax)

Lori Holder-Webb

Western New England University - Department of Accounting and Finance ( email )

United States

David Wood

Boston College ( email )

55 Lee Road
Chestnut Hill, MA 02467-3942
United States

Leda Nath

University of Wisconsin - Whitewater ( email )

800 West Main St.
Whitewater, WI 53190-1790
United States

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