To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Determinants of online intellectual capital disclosure by Spanish local governments

Yolanda Ramírez (University of Castilla‐La Mancha, Albacete, Spain)
Ángel Tejada (University of Castilla‐La Mancha, Albacete, Spain)
María Pilar Sánchez (University of Castilla‐La Mancha, Albacete, Spain)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 9 September 2020




This paper aims to investigate the extent of intellectual capital disclosure (ICD) through websites and social media in Spanish local government (SLG) and analyze the factors that explain their disclosure.


The study applies content analysis and regression techniques. The ICD is analyzed for Spanish municipalities with more than 100,000 inhabitants and provincial capitals over a period from January 2018 to February 2020.


Findings emphasize that the quantity of disclosed information on intellectual capital (IC) is in the low level, particularly with regard to human capital (HC). Furthermore, the results show that the information provided via social media mainly concerns the relational capital (RC). On the other hand, results obtained indicate that larger municipalities, with lower financial autonomy and whose citizens have a high income level use the online media (both websites and social media) more actively to disclose information about IC. Finally, municipalities led by women and with high level of citizens' education exert a positive influence in the ICD only on websites.

Practical implications

This paper makes a number of key contributions to the existing body of knowledge, focusing on ICD, a neglected area in the public sector accounting literature. It explores and identifies the supply-side and demand-side determinants of information affecting the ICD in local governments. The results of this research could be useful for policymakers, regulators and governments' managers to improve the online information addressing ICD issues.


This paper adopts an innovative perspective by investigating the use of alternative tools for ICD in local government context (websites and social media). To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study that focuses on investigating the determinants of online ICD in local governments.



Ramírez, Y., Tejada, Á. and Sánchez, M.P. (2020), "Determinants of online intellectual capital disclosure by Spanish local governments", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited