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What drives intellectual capital reporting? Evidence from Kuwait

Mishari M. Alfraih (Department of Accounting, College of Business Studies, The Public Authority for Applied Education and Training, Kuwait City, Kuwait)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 5 March 2018




Motivated by the increased attention on intellectual capital reporting (ICR) from regulatory bodies, practitioners, and researchers and the recent calls for companies to supplement and complement their traditional financial statements with intellectual capital (IC) disclosure, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the drivers of ICR among the companies listed on the Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE).


Content analysis was applied to the annual reports of all companies listed on the KSE in 2013. A multiple regression analysis was employed to explore the ICR drivers.


Despite the growing importance of ICR in capital markets, the study findings reveal an overall relatively low level of ICR among KSE-listed companies. In addition, the level of ICR varies significantly between companies. The results show that the level of ICR for all KSE-listed companies in 2013 ranged from 0 to 96 percent and the mean was 28 percent. The multiple regression analysis suggests that older, highly leveraged, larger, and profitable KSE-listed companies are associated with higher levels of ICR. Industrial sector is a partial driver.

Practical implications

Surprisingly, many of the KSE-listed companies do not disclose any IC information in their annual reports. Given the increasingly important role that IC information plays in capital markets, regulatory bodies should encourage, stimulate, and guide companies to report IC information. The findings offer insights as to the drivers of ICR that should improve efforts to develop recommendations that push for greater IC disclosure in corporate annual reports.


The study is the first examination of ICR drivers in Kuwait. It contributes to the literature by providing empirical evidence about ICR in a market with specific economic, social, and cultural characteristics. It enhances our understanding of ICR by revealing some of its drivers.



Alfraih, M.M. (2018), "What drives intellectual capital reporting? Evidence from Kuwait", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 67 No. 3, pp. 571-589.



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