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A longitudinal and cross-sectional examination of intellectual capital information disclosure in six large FTSE 100 UK companies, 1974-2008

This study developed a multidimensional content analysis instrument for the cross sectional and longitudinal analysis of intellectual capital disclosures in the annual reports of six UK FTSE 100 companies over a period of 35 years (1974-2008 inclusive). Motivated by empirical deficits in intellectual capital disclosure studies over a lengthy longitudinal period and also in content analysis instruments capable of resolving the qualitative characteristics of intellectual capital disclosures, this study disaggregated content into three main categories and twenty six sub-categories. Recording took place at the level of the theme or clause, and data was captured using a volumetric measure (frequency of themes) and also using three interrogations for qualitative characteristics: the extent to which disclosures contained qualitative and quantitative content, the time orientation of disclosure and the division between fact and perception in reporting. Representing the most detailed and complex analysis of ICR in UK companies so far, this study is also distinguished by having, by some distance, the longest longitudinal period of any IC study. The complexity of the content analysis instrument, unique to this study, enabled a number of original findings, deriving from the large sample size and unique content analysis instrument, to be offered. Intellectual capital disclosure, as measured by the frequency of clauses, increased over the period of the study. Within this overall trend, relational capital was observed to be the highest frequency category of IC, when compared to human capital and structural capital. The rates of category growth varied by company, with the differentials between relational capital and other categories also varying by sector. Qualitative characteristics also showed longitudinal and cross-sectional effects. This study also found an appropriateness of the existing theories in explaining the study findings with no single theory explaining more than a small part of the observed reporting behaviour.
Date January 2013
CreatorsChe Abdul Rahman, Mara Ridhuan
PublisherUniversity of Newcastle upon Tyne
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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