Voluntary disclosure of intellectual capital in Chinese (mainland) companies
An, Y. (2012). Voluntary disclosure of intellectual capital in Chinese (mainland) companies (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6581
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/6581
This research examines the extent, quality, and determinants of intellectual capital (IC) disclosure in Chinese companies in order to obtain a comprehensive understanding with regard to the current status of IC disclosure in China, and further to provide some recommendations for IC reporting guidelines. A mixed methods approach, combining both qualitative and quantitative elements, was used. Specifically, the research evolved in three stages. Firstly, an IC disclosure index was developed as an instrument for content analysis through a questionnaire survey and consultation with a panel of twenty Chinese IC experts. Secondly, two years annual reports of 100 top A-share Chinese firms were coded for data collection using a coding framework developed from the disclosure index. The collected data were then quantified and analyzed so as to determine the extent and quality of IC disclosure by Chinese firms. Finally, a series of hypothesis regarding the correlations between IC disclosure practices of Chinese firms and nine impact factors (or determinants) were deduced on the basis of prior literature and some relevant theories. Then the hypotheses were tested employing the empirical evidence obtained from the second stage through some statistical techniques, such as univariate analysis and multiple regression analysis. Inconsistent with prior research, the results in this study indicate that the current level of IC disclosure in China was quite high in both extent and quality, and there was no significant information gap between the expectation of Chinese stakeholders and the actual practices of Chinese firms. It is contended that there are three factors motivating Chinese firms to report their IC actively: to reduce information asymmetry between the management of a company and various stakeholder groups; to discharge accountability to various stakeholders; and to signal organizational legitimacy and excellence to the market. It was also found that all the impact factors other than ownership structure had a significant effect on the level of IC disclosure of Chinese firms in univariate analysis, while four out of nine factors comprising firm size, ownership concentration, board independence and stand-alone sustainability report had a significant impact on the level of IC disclosure in multiple regression analysis. It is believed that the findings in this research could have a number of implications for academics, investors, managers, regulators and policy makers.
University of Waikato
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