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Intellectual capital disclosure in the UK biotechnology IPO prospectuses

Michela Cordazzo (School of Economics and Management, Free University Bozen‐Bolzano, Bolzano, Italy)
Philip G.M.C. Vergauwen (Department of Accounting and Information Management, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands)

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting

ISSN: 1401-338X

Article publication date: 30 March 2012




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent of intellectual capital (IC) disclosure on the UK biotechnology initial public offering (IPO) prospectuses. The study is based on companies going public on the London Stock Exchange (LSE) and the London Alternative Investment Market (AIM) over the period 2005‐2007.


The extent of IC disclosure is collected and measured by using the IC disclosure index and the framework proposed by Bukh et al. The differences in the level of IC disclosure are analysed by modelling some firm‐specific determinants such as size, maturity, age and independence of the board.


It is shown that primary listing companies on the LSE disclose more IC information than those on the London AIM. Maturity and independence of the board are associated with IC disclosure, while size and age are not related, showing the importance of corporate communication as a signal of credibility to possible investors at IPO stage.


The main contribution of the paper is to analyse IC disclosure in the UK biotechnology IPO prospectuses. Previous literature does not focus on this reporting genre as an important corporate communication tool, as most research investigates IC disclosure only in annual reports and country regulation settings.



Cordazzo, M. and Vergauwen, P.G.M.C. (2012), "Intellectual capital disclosure in the UK biotechnology IPO prospectuses", Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 4-19.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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