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Intellectual capital reporting in a South Asian country: evidence from Bangladesh

Mohammad Nurunnabi (Business School, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK)
Monirul Hossain (Department of Business Administration, East West University, Dhaka, Bangladesh)
Md. Hossain (Bangladesh Institute of Bank Management, Dhaka, Bangladesh)

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting

ISSN: 1401-338X

Article publication date: 6 September 2011




The purpose of this paper is to examine the intellectual capital reporting (ICR) practices of listed non‐financial companies in Bangladesh as an example of a South Asian developing country, and to empirically investigate some company characteristics as determinants of such practices.


This is an empirical study of ICR by 90 listed companies in Bangladesh in 2008‐2009 using content analysis of annual reports. The study uses a weighted disclosure index and ordinary least squares regression analyses to test the association between company characteristics and the extent of ICR.


The study finds that despite the stock market growing significantly during the recession period, there is a tendency of companies not to disclose IC. The study also confirms that size and industry are important attributes to explain the IC disclosure (ICD) issues in Bangladesh. Unlike prior studies, the study finds that the IT sector does not tend to disclose more extensively, and that companies currently fail to disclose many important items such as patents, trademark and copyrights. The result is an indication that companies in Bangladesh are reluctant to disclose IC. The study is also similar to Abeysekera and Guthrie, who found that Sri Lanka is a proactive rather reactive country in terms of ICR. The study also finds ICR depends on the self‐interests of the company.

Research limitations/implications

The scope of this study is limited to single year, 2008‐2009. It would be interesting to replicate this study in other developing countries or a group of developing countries in South Asia that have many similarities to the Bangladesh socio‐economic environment. Nevertheless, the study incorporates the current level of ICR transparency in Bangladesh.


Unlike previous studies, the present study is based on a developing country where the capital market is growing significantly during the recession years. The study also develops a weighted disclosure index in a developing country context, based on the extensive literature of ICD and some new characteristics, namely non‐family ownership, audit committee and liquidity risk.



Nurunnabi, M., Hossain, M. and Hossain (2011), "Intellectual capital reporting in a South Asian country: evidence from Bangladesh", Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, Vol. 15 No. 3, pp. 196-233.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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