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Human capital disclosures and management practices

Christian Ax (School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden)
Jan Marton (School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University, Göteborg, Sweden)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 25 July 2008




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the association between annual report human capital (HC) disclosures and HC management practices.


The paper used two sets of data. Disclosure data were collected from annual reports. Data on management practices was collected by e‐mail questionnaire. Sixteen of the most traded companies on the Stockholm Stock Exchange (SSE) were included in the study.


Results indicated that there is limited association between the two sets of data. Even though the association was significant on an aggregate level, more detailed testing showed no systematic associations. There was, however, a significant association between internal management practices and companies' perceived importance of disclosure, even though this was not reflected in actual disclosure.

Research limitations/implications

The most important limitations of the study are that it was based on a small non‐random sample of companies from only one country and used annual report disclosures from a single year. Also, the study focuses on quantity rather than quality of disclosures.


A feature of previous research is that it tends to focus on HC (intellectual capital) from either an external or internal perspective. This study is the first that links HC annual report disclosure and internal HC management practices.



Ax, C. and Marton, J. (2008), "Human capital disclosures and management practices", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 433-455.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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