Intellectual capital disclosure by traditional US companies: a longitudinal assessment

Blaise M. Sonnier (School of Accounting, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)
Kerry D. Carson (Moody College of Business, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)
Paula Phillips Carson (Moody College of Business, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana, USA)

Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change

ISSN: 1832-5912

Publication date: 21 March 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to evaluate 141 publicly traded US firms in the traditional sectors of the economy to assess intellectual capital disclosure levels.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis was conducted using 10‐K annual reports.

Findings

It was found that traditional sector companies had a mean disclosure of intellectual capital of 24.227 in fiscal year 2000 and 27.709 in fiscal year 2004 (t=3.68, df = 140, p=0.01). This supported the authors hypothesis that traditional sector companies would show an increase in the level of intellectual capital disclosure in 2004 as compared to 2000. Within the total sample, 78 companies increased their intellectual capital disclosure in fiscal year 2004 as compared to fiscal year 2000 (z=−3.4756, p=0.01).

Research limitations/implications

While the authors generated 121 phrases to tap the intellectual capital construct, there may be other word combinations given the differences in vocabulary between academia and the corporate world.

Practical implications

These findings are particularly noteworthy because traditional sector companies are capital intensive and are reliant upon fixed assets which are reported on the balance sheet. This study suggests that even managers in the traditional sectors of the US economy are coming to recognize the growing importance of intellectual capital.

Originality/value

This is the only longitudinal study to focus on intellectual capital disclosure of traditional firms in the USA, and this research was conducted over the time that the Financial Accounting Standards Board called for increased disclosure of intangible assets.

Keywords

Citation

Sonnier, B., Carson, K. and Phillips Carson, P. (2008), "Intellectual capital disclosure by traditional US companies: a longitudinal assessment", Journal of Accounting & Organizational Change, Vol. 4 No. 1, pp. 67-80. https://doi.org/10.1108/18325910810855798

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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