The purpose of this paper is to examine the comprehensiveness and determinants of internet reporting by publicly listed Caribbean companies.
In total, 65 companies with common shares listed on one of the four Caribbean stock exchanges, were included in the study. The study examined the relationship between firm characteristics (size, industry affiliation, listing status, and CEO role duality) and the comprehensiveness of corporate internet reporting (CIR), while controlling for the importance of public equity financing, company age and profitability. CIR was measured using an unweighted 107-item disclosure index that focussed on web site usability, disclosure timeliness, disclosure content, and several advanced CIR features. The data were subjected to content analysis using descriptive statistics, contingency tables, and multiple regression analysis.
As a whole, publicly listed Caribbean firms seem to be in stage 2 of the internet evolutionary model presented by Hedlin (1999); most firms have a web presence, a majority of firms engage in CIR and very few firms are using social media, communication and processable reporting formats in their CIR. It was found that Caribbean companies, on average, satisfied only 63.1 percent of the items included in the index. As hypothesized company size and industry affiliation were positively related to the comprehensiveness of CIR. Conversely, both industry affiliation and listing status generated mixed results. Also, the importance of public equity financing was significantly and negatively related to the general content and timeliness dimensions of CIR.
The findings suggest that Caribbean governments and regulators interested in raising the profile of regional stock exchanges may need to implement incentives for public companies to engage in internet reporting.
This is the first study to examine the comprehensiveness and determinants of internet reporting by publicly listed Caribbean companies.
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited