Disclosure as Collective Work
41 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2013 Last revised: 9 Jun 2019
Date Written: June 06, 2019
While the social and economic impacts of how disclosures are presented are well-understood, it is less clear how disclosure decisions unfold throughout the annual reporting cycle. We study this issue by exploring the experience of interpreting and implementing corporate reporting rules, focusing on the production of Directors’ Remuneration Reports (DRRs) in the UK. Consistent with methods and theories from the anthropology of science, we observe three breaks from conventional wisdom about the production of “facts” in annual reports. First, we document the expansion of the disclosure decision to a network of diverse actors, with multiple sites of disclosure. Second, we find that there is no single moment of disclosure choice but rather repeated activity. Third, clear-cut individual or collective disclosure decisions are replaced with choices that remain debatable even after the annual report has been published. Overall, our findings concerning the alteration and multiplication of preferences in collective work processes contribute to a better understanding of the factors that affect the length and complexity of pay disclosures in annual reports.
Keywords: Executive remuneration; directors’ remuneration report; disclosure; compliance; collective work; translation; uncertainty; validation; mediation; hybrid forums
JEL Classification: M41, M48, M52, J33, D70, G30, K22
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