Intellectual capital disclosures by Australian companies in annual reports, company websites, and Facebook pages

Yunita Anwar, University, My, Deborah Delaney, Lanita Winata
This thesis investigates the intellectual capital (IC, hereafter) disclosure practices of large Australian companies and their determinants. According to signalling theory, companies provide a signal of important information through their disclosures to promote their competitive advantage. This important information includes IC (Oliveira, 2006). Prior research (Guthrie & Petty, 2000) documents how the Australian economy has shifted to a knowledge-based one. Recent innovation initiatives
more » ... by the Australian government in 2015 (Australian Financial Review, 2015b) also show how important IC is for Australian and companies and the Australian economy. Prior research (for example Guthrie, Petty, and Ricceri (2006), Wagiciengo and Belal (2012), Bozzolan, Favotto, and Ricceri (2003), among others) has documented IC disclosure practices worldwide. However, the majority of this research was focused on annual reports and company websites. The emergence of social media brings advantages for company disclosures such as a two-way communication and the flexibility to access information on a timely basis. In Australia, the majority of social media users are Facebook users (Sensis, 2016). Considering the popularity of Facebook in Australia, this thesis analyses whether and how Facebook is being used by Australian companies to disclose IC. Its first research question examines whether Australian companies use annual reports, company websites, and Facebook to disclose their IC information. According to stakeholder theory, a company needs to meet stakeholder demands to achieve its strategic objectives (Robert, 1992). In this regard, prior research has documented the importance of IC disclosures to assist investors' decision making (Andriessen, 2004). Thus, a company recognises the importance of IC and needs to provide the disclosure. Media agenda setting theory suggests that a company may use different media in order to effectively reach their wide stakeholders. Considering this, the second research question of this thesis [...]
doi:10.25904/1912/723 fatcat:thbu3c3pp5gs5nw3kmhirtbcze