Moving from irrelevant IC reporting to value-relevant IC disclosures: Key learning points from the Danish experience

Stefan Schaper, Christian Nielsen, Robin Roslender

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    17 Citations (Scopus)
    49 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Purpose – Informed by the findings of a follow-up research study of companies originally involved in the Danish Guideline Project for Intellectual Capital Statements, this paper provides valuable insights for a potential shift from IC reporting, largely informed by an accounting perspective, towards IC-related disclosures.

    Design/methodology/approach – The paper draws on data obtained from 21 semi-structured interviews with respondents in 16 companies. The respondents were contacted following a genealogical exercise carried out on the 102 companies involved in the Danish Guideline Project between 1999 and 2003.

    Findings – The interviews suggested a rather critical perspective towards IC reporting using the intellectual capital statement framework. Despite the attempt of the Danish Guideline Project to establish a reporting standard, a range of experiments resulted in changes to the framework’s original structure. Overall, a trend towards more integrated forms of reporting was discernible, in some part being motivated by the need to reduce the levels of reporting overload. Examples of integration designed to legitimise intellectual capital or corporate social responsibility reports, involving issuing them in tandem with a recognised reporting vehicle such as the annual report, were also encountered.

    Research limitations/implications – The implications of this study are that timely, value-relevant IC disclosures and compliant reporting, primarily for accountability purposes, have the potential to coexist. In addition to the usual limitations of a semi-structured interview research design, respondents’ difficulties in clearly recalling events during the project after some 10-12 years is a further potential limitation. Additionally, the use of Internet-based communication channels for disclosure purposes was in its infancy at the time of the Danish Guideline Project.

    Originality/value – The paper provides important insights into the mechanisms of intellectual capital disclosure and intellectual capital reporting as seen from a practitioner perspective. Implications relevant to the continued development of integrated reporting are also identified.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)81-101
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Intellectual Capital
    Volume18
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Fingerprint

    learning
    Values
    experience
    interview
    Intellectual capital
    Disclosure
    annual report
    social responsibility
    research planning
    Internet
    responsibility
    event
    communication
    experiment
    methodology
    trend
    Integrated
    Structured interview
    Annual reports
    Research design

    Keywords

    • Intellectual capital
    • reporting
    • Disclosure
    • disclosure channels
    • integrated reporting
    • regulation

    Cite this

    Schaper, Stefan ; Nielsen, Christian ; Roslender, Robin. / Moving from irrelevant IC reporting to value-relevant IC disclosures : Key learning points from the Danish experience. In: Journal of Intellectual Capital. 2017 ; Vol. 18, No. 1. pp. 81-101.
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    Moving from irrelevant IC reporting to value-relevant IC disclosures : Key learning points from the Danish experience. / Schaper, Stefan; Nielsen, Christian; Roslender, Robin.

    In: Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 18, No. 1, 2017, p. 81-101.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    T1 - Moving from irrelevant IC reporting to value-relevant IC disclosures

    T2 - Key learning points from the Danish experience

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    AU - Nielsen, Christian

    AU - Roslender, Robin

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