Narrative Analysis of Annual Reports: A Study of Communication Efficiency
36 Pages Posted: 29 May 2015 Last revised: 30 Jan 2017
Date Written: January 30, 2017
This paper investigates the quality and efficiency of corporate annual reports disclosures in malevolent environments, by analyzing the annual reports of firms in the Indian automobile industry during the global recession period (2008 through 2012). The study is based on the content analysis of the Management Discussion and Analysis (MD&A) sections of annual reports, as content analysis is a primary tool for studying textual complexity. Using the Flesch Reading Ease formula, we find that the reading ease of annual report texts varies decreases significantly and progressively across the years studied. Thus, in years when the environment is difficult (like a global recession) firms obfuscate their texts, irrespective of their financial performance and characteristics.
Keywords: Readability, Annual Report, Accounting Narratives; Communication Efficiency, Environmental Malevolence
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