Internet financial reporting in Arab MENA countries
: an institutional perspective

  • Salem A. Eltkhtash

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    The advent of the internet has provided a new possibility for companies to communicate with their stakeholders and this thesis uses a new institutional sociology perspective to investigate the adoption of Internet Financial Reporting (IFR) in Arab MENA countries (Middle East and North Africa) to: i) evaluate the extent of IFR; and ii) identify the factors that influence Arab MENA listed companies to voluntarily adopt IFR.

    The study examines the extent of IFR in Arab MENA countries in 2010 using a sample of 1,456 listed companies from the 16 Arab MENA countries that have a stock exchange. To determine the factors that affect listed companies to adopt IFR, 961 listed companies were investigated from ten Arab MENA countries from two regions. Seven factors are investigated; five of which (company size; profitability; leverage; type of auditor; and industrial sector) have been investigated in prior studies; the other two factors, country and region, are also investigated as the effect of a country has been investigated in very few studies; the regional factor has not been investigated at all in prior studies; and hence contributes to our knowledge.

    The main findings of this thesis indicate that IFR in Arab MENA countries is growing; but listed companies in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have the most extensive practice of IFR; North African listed companies are next whereas listed companies located in the Middle East excluding GCC countries have a lower level of IFR than the other two groups. Moreover, the findings reveal that communities of practice have been formed by large profitable companies as well as those audited by the Big-4 audit firms. Further, financial sector companies and companies from the GCC region also appear to have similar practices with more extensive IFR than other listed companies.

    These communities of practice may be due to coercive, mimetic and normative isomorphism. From a mimetic pressure, arguably, listed companies imitate each other, as for instance, managers of large profitable companies, or financial companies may network and meet together and discuss issues relating to their businesses. Companies within the same country may also be exhibit homogeneous IFR practice for the same reason. Furthermore, companies from one region may be similar to each other because they have similar country characteristics such as political and economic factors. From a normative isomorphic perspective, the Big-4 audit firms may influence companies to adopt IFR across the globe. Further, banks in many countries have separate requirements bringing a coercive influence to bear on their practices.

    Date of Award2013
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorChristine Helliar (Supervisor) & Louise Crawford (Supervisor)


    • Internet
    • Financial reporting
    • MENA countries
    • Institutional theory

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