Redovisning av humankapital -en jämförelse mellan kunskaps- och verkstadsbolag
Background: Enterprises often refer to their employees as “Our most valuable assets” in annual reports and other written statements. In reality, employees are seen as an expense rather than an asset in annual reports and the voluntary disclosure is often insufficient. Human capital disclosure has been discussed through decades and the latest topic in voluntary disclosure is called integrated reporting. Knowledge firms should disclose more about their employees than industrial companies due to the fact that the employees are a considerably more important asset to these types of enterprises. Purpose: The purpose of this thesis is to study the disclosure of human capital, compare the disclosures between knowledge firms and industrial companies, and study the development of the human capital disclosures between the years 2003-2013. Furthermore, the study aims to identify patterns between companies over time, and to analyse these patterns. Limitations: The comparison only includes enterprises listed on the Swedish stock exchange. Method: The study is based on a qualitative approach, however, containing some quantitative elements. A scoreboard with 31 different aspects, all connected to the human capital, has been designed in an attempt to disclose the extent of each company’s human resource disclosure. 18 different companies have been selected, 9 knowledge firms and 9 industry firms, and each company’s annual report for 2003, 2008 and 2013 has been examined. Empirical findings: The study reveals a difference for the human resource disclosure between the two company types, however not a great one. Further, the study shows an enhancement of the disclosure from 2003-2008. This enhancement eventually fades out, and by 2013, the human resource disclosure has decreased compared to 2008. Conclusions: The study confirms a distinction in human capital reporting for the different company types, however smaller than what could be expected. The study also recognizes a slightly unexpected development over time, where an increase could be detected until 2008, an increase which transcends to a decrease till 2013. Finally, a size dependence has been noted. Size seems to be an explanatory variable to company’s human capital disclosure when this matter is of smaller importance. However, when human reporting is of greater significance, company size does not seem to matter as much. For further research: A similar study can be made with a larger selection to achieve greater statistical significance. Furthermore, unlisted enterprises and listed enterprises on other than the Swedish stock exchange can be analysed. Finally, companies which have implemented integrated reporting can be studied.