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Intellectual capital reporting by the New Zealand local government sector

Annika Schneider (Department of Accounting, University of Waikato, Hamilton, UK)
Grant Samkin (Department of Accounting, University of Waikato, Hamilton, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 25 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent and quality of intellectual capital disclosures (ICDs) in the annual reports of the New Zealand local government sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper makes use of an ICD index constructed through a participatory stakeholder consultation process to develop a disclosure index which measures the extent and quality intellectual capital reporting in the 2004/2005 annual reports of 82 local government authorities in New Zealand. The final index comprised 26 items divided into three categories: internal, external and human capital.

Findings

The results indicate that the reporting of intellectual capital by local government authorities is varied. The most reported items were joint ventures/business collaborations and management processes, while the least reported items were intellectual property and licensing agreements. The most reported category of intellectual capital was internal capital, followed by external capital. Human capital was the least reported category.

Research limitations/implications

There are a number of limitations associated with this study. First the research covered only one year (2004/2005) which makes it difficult to draw any trend conclusions. Second, differing legal reporting requirements may make it difficult to compare findings of this research with findings of research conducted in other jurisdictions. The final limitation of this study is its exploratory nature of this research and the use of a disclosure index to measure disclosure levels.

Practical implications

The results in this paper indicate that local authorities are disclosing some aspects of intellectual capital in their annual reports. However, there is no consistent reporting framework and many areas of ICDs do not meet stakeholder expectations.

Originality/value

This paper is unique in that it is the first study to make use of an ICD index to examine intellectual capital reporting by local government authorities.

Keywords

Citation

Schneider, A. and Samkin, G. (2008), "Intellectual capital reporting by the New Zealand local government sector", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 9 No. 3, pp. 456-486. https://doi.org/10.1108/14691930810892036

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited