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Intellectual Capital Reporting in the Italian Nonprofit Sector. An Image-Building or an Accountability Tool?

Though the chapter is the fruit of joint reflection and collaboration, for academic reasons the sections Introductory remarks, Literatures review and hypotheses development, Research methodology, Research template, Analyzing the IC reporting practices of ANPAS Piemonte are to be attributed to Stefania Veltri and the sections Description of the case study and of its nonprofit setting and Conclusions are to be attributed to Giovanni Bronzetti.

Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations

ISBN: 978-1-78441-005-6, eISBN: 978-1-78441-004-9

ISSN: 1041-7060

Publication date: 27 November 2014

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to analyze intellectual capital (IC) measurement, management, and reporting practices at organizational level, with the aim to address a relevant research question: are IC reports used as accountability or as image-building tools? The article presents a single in-depth case study of an Italian nonprofit organization (NPO) which has been measuring and reporting its IC for several years. The research project was conducted using an interpretative approach, by analyzing organizational IC reports in the light of a framework, derived from corporate social responsibility (CSR) and IC literature, able to provide researchers with useful insights to interpret the role played by IC report in the investigated organization. The lenses provided by the designed framework give researchers the opportunity to offer a skillful interpretation of the information provided by the IC report. From the analysis, it results that the investigated NPO use IC report more as a managerial rather than an accountability tool. Even though the use of a single case study provides in-depth and rich data, it also limits the generalizability of the observations to other companies. Moreover, the results obtained can be influenced by the model built and adopted to address the research question. The findings can support companies to enable IC reporting practices and readers to understand the orientation of the companies towards a reputation or an accountability approach by reading the IC report using the research model. The article fills a gap in the research of voluntary disclosure of NPOs from a different approach (i.e., to analyze IC reports to make evident the approach followed in disclosing IC information). So doing, the article contributes to narrowing the gap between IC theory and practice and offers new insights on the reasons why NPOs disclose IC.

Keywords

Citation

Veltri, S. and Bronzetti, G. (2014), "Intellectual Capital Reporting in the Italian Nonprofit Sector. An Image-Building or an Accountability Tool?

Though the chapter is the fruit of joint reflection and collaboration, for academic reasons the sections Introductory remarks, Literatures review and hypotheses development, Research methodology, Research template, Analyzing the IC reporting practices of ANPAS Piemonte are to be attributed to Stefania Veltri and the sections Description of the case study and of its nonprofit setting and Conclusions are to be attributed to Giovanni Bronzetti.

", Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations (Advances in Public Interest Accounting, Vol. 17), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 251-278. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1041-706020140000017010

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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