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Voluntary disclosure in emerging countries: A literature review

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the approaches used by researchers in examining the influences of external factors towards voluntary disclosure in emerging countries. Design/methodology/approach – The data collected in this study were collected through a review of empirical literature based on 35 articles published between 1998 and 2013. The sample articles on the link between external factors and the level of voluntary disclosure were located by searching keywords in the most relevant social science research databases such as Business Source Premier, Emerald full text, JSTOR, Science Direct, Scopus, and Social Science Research Network. Findings – The results reveal that research in voluntary disclosure practices by companies in emerging countries remains low. The majority of studies employed content analysis to examine the extent of voluntary disclosure practices. Results from studies show that greater regulatory enforcement in the region and an increase in stakeholders’ comprehension about their rights and choices with regards to business activities can influence the majority of the companies to provide voluntary disclosure. The literature revealed that social responsibility and environmental information are the popular categories of voluntary disclosure, while risk and human capital/intellectual capital are the least popular categories. Research limitations/implications – The paper is limited to a review of 35 articles. Practical implications – The study provides avenues for policymakers and regulators to carry out reforms on voluntary disclosure practices. Social implications – The findings may provide insights to capital market regulators when conducting effective regulation and supervision of information transparency in listed companies. Originality/value – Since limited studies exist that examine voluntary disclosure in emerging countries, little is known about the implications of external factors such as a country’s policy, regulations, stakeholders, and business environment on voluntary disclosure practices. This paper contributes to filling this gap by a review of articles of empirical research on voluntary disclosure in emerging countries.
Journal Article
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This is an author’s accepted version of an article published in JournalofAccountinginEmerging Economies © 2018 Emerald Publishing Limited.