The effect of ownership structure on voluntary disclosure of intellectual capital information: The case of canadian firms

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Author: 
Hanen Ghorbel Siala and Marwa Moalla
Abstract: 

Purpose: The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of ownership structure on voluntary disclosure of information on intellectual capital.
Design/methodology/approach:We use a sample of 50 Canadian companies listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange for 2012. The extent of disclosure is measured by the index of Li et al., (2008).
Findings: We concluded that there is a negative and statistically significant relationship between the level of disclosure of intellectual capital and ownership concentration. There is also a positive and statistically significant relationship between the level of disclosure of intellectual capital and institutional ownership. However, the regression results show no relationship between the level of disclosure of intellectual capital and managerial ownership.
Originality/value: To our knowledge, this is the first study to investigate the effect of concentration of ownership and the identity of shareholders on voluntary disclosure on intellectual capital disclosure in Canada. Companies are highly concentrated and are characterized by an active intellectual capital information market. The motivation of shareholders to disclosure information on intellectual capital may be different compared to other developed countries such as the United States where ownership is much dispersed.
Limitations/ implications: The principal limit is the use of a manual measure of disclosure for a reduced number of firms. Using a larger sample and an electronic method to measure the disclosure will be recommended in future research. Our results are interpreted in the light of the increasing importance of the effect of corporate governance on disclosing information on intellectual capital and constitute a contribution to the ongoing debate on corporate reporting practices in Canada.

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