From folk‐tales to shareholder‐tales: semiotics analysis of the annual report

Gaétan Breton (Université du Québec à Montréal, Montréal, Canada)

Society and Business Review

ISSN: 1746-5680

Publication date: 2 October 2009

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the use of semiotics analysis to better understand the annual report. It starts with the idea that the annual report is telling stories to the reader. As a form of novel, it can be analysed with the same instrument.

Design/methodology/approach

The goal here is methodological. It is to propose an organized body of techniques that will allow anybody to conduct analysis from it. Therefore, one example is used uniquely to illustrate the method. The advantages of semiotics over content analysis are numerous. Content analysis remains quite trivial (counting words), while semiotics analysis takes into account the structure of the story at many levels.

Findings

Framed by the categories of Aristotle's rhetoric, a method is developed that is replicable with a limited background in the source disciplines. The results suggest that the annual report is clearly telling stories and respond quite positively to this kind of approach.

Originality/value

Although it is often discussed as a general issue, there has so far been no proposal of an integrated method for analysing accounting narratives over content analysis.

Keywords

Citation

Breton, G. (2009), "From folk‐tales to shareholder‐tales: semiotics analysis of the annual report", Society and Business Review, Vol. 4 No. 3, pp. 187-201. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465680910994191

Download as .RIS

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Please note you might not have access to this content

You may be able to access this content by login via Shibboleth, Open Athens or with your Emerald account.
If you would like to contact us about accessing this content, click the button and fill out the form.
To rent this content from Deepdyve, please click the button.