Human Resource Disclosures
ABSTRACT Although several corporations proclaim their employees as being thecorporation’s most valuable resource, only a few corporations have utilised models and concepts of measuring human resources in their corporate annualreports. In the ongoing academic debate, human resource disclosures are often described and thought of as problematic due to the limited understanding of such information. The debate about insufficient understanding and the resulting information gap between users and providers is taken by this dissertation as a starting point. The overall research purpose in this study is to describe the practice of voluntary information on human resources in corporate annual reports by the comparison of the findings on justification, disclosure and utilisation. In the current academic debate, proposals have been made to study the information content on human resources, providers or users of information together in order to obtain deeper understanding. Accordingly, this dissertation introduces a tripartite model of human resource disclosure practice to study information, providers and users. A subset of three research questions examines the amount of voluntary disclosures in corporate annual reports, why human resource disclosures are provided and how users utilise voluntary information on human resources. To answer the research questions a combination of methods is used to obtain the empirical data. The amount of voluntary disclosure in corporate annual reports is found through the application of a disclosure scoreboard. The users, being represented by analysts, and the providers, who are representatives from two corporations, were interviewed. A comparative case study approach was chosen to obtain a deeper understanding of the research questions. Two case corporations have been chosen. One corporation is regarded as being experienced and the second corporation as being inexperienced with the measurement, evaluation and reporting of intangible assets. The findings from this dissertation indicate that both corporations provide a considerable amount of voluntary disclosure in corporate annual reports.During the five-year period of analysis, the experienced corporation’s leading position in voluntary disclosure disappears. Both corporations provide human resource disclosures, as they regard them as being an important aspect in illustrating their corporations. Furthermore, it is shown that the inexperienced corporation provides more disclosures about their employees than the experienced corporation. The users regard human resource disclosures as important information as they contribute to the overall impression of a corporation. Still, the comparative analyses indicate that the human resource disclosures of both corporations do not fully meet users expectations. The users find it difficult to analyse the human resource disclosures for a single corporation over a longer time-span as well as to compare the information provided by both corporations.
Göteborg University. School of Business, Economics and Law
human resource disclousures
annual reporting practice