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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2019

Isabel Brusca, Sandra Cohen, Francesca Manes-Rossi and Giuseppe Nicolò

The purpose of this study is to compare of the way intellectual capital (IC) is disclosed in the websites of the universities in three European countries to assess the way…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to compare of the way intellectual capital (IC) is disclosed in the websites of the universities in three European countries to assess the way universities decide to communicate IC to their stakeholders and identify potential patterns and trends. In addition, the relation between the level and the type of IC Web disclosure in universities and academic rankings as a proxy of performance is explored to reveal interrelations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a sample of 128 universities coming from Greece (22), Italy (58) and Spain (48). The websites of the universities are content-analysed to measure the level of IC disclosure. The IC disclosure metrics are then correlated with the academic rankings of the World Ranking.

Findings

While the level of IC disclosure among universities and among countries is not homogeneous, human capital and internal capital items are more heavily disclosed compared to external capital items in all three countries. In addition, larger universities in terms of number of students tend to disclose more on IC. Moreover, there is a positive correlation between the level of IC Web disclosure and the academic ranking that challenges the IC disclosure strategies followed by the universities.

Originality/value

The paper represents an innovative contribution to the existing literature as it investigates websites to assess the level of IC disclosure provided by universities in a comparative perspective. Furthermore, it analyses the relationship between the online IC disclosure and European universities’ academic rankings and provides evidence on the interaction between the IC disclosure and the ecosystem in which the universities operate contributing to the fourth stage of IC research.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Francesca Manes Rossi, Francesca Citro and Marco Bisogno

Intellectual capital (IC) is attracting increasing attention from scholars and practitioners in the private sector, while research in the public sector is still in its…

Abstract

Purpose

Intellectual capital (IC) is attracting increasing attention from scholars and practitioners in the private sector, while research in the public sector is still in its embryonic stage, especially in regards to local governments. The purpose of this paper is to fill this gap by channelling conceptual and empirical findings from the large body of IC literature.

Design/methodology/approach

The research investigates IC in action in the local government domain. A survey has been carried out involving both managers and politicians of all Italian local governments (ILGs) with more than 40,000 inhabitants. In order to define the constituents of each IC dimension perceived by ILGs, principal component analysis was used in investigating the results.

Findings

Results highlights how IC components are perceived in ILGs: human capital is a combination of aptitudes in pursuing target performances, sense of ownership and motivations; relational capital is a combination of values, relationships and acts; structural capital includes procedures and routines supporting the decision-making process, the ability of achieving objectives and handling changes.

Research limitations/implications

While the research findings are limited due to being based on a survey in a single country, they present opportunities for future research regarding further testing of how IC is perceived in LGs in different context. The conclusion could be beneficial also for standard setters, providing a path to support the IC disclosure by LGs.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a narrow strand of research – IC in LGs – adding new knowledge in “IC in action” research stream.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Berit Adam, Isabel Brusca, Eugenio Caperchione, Jens Heiling, Susana Margarida F. Jorge and Francesca Manes Rossi

The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether higher education institutions (HEIs) in EU Member States are aware of the relevance of the ongoing reforms in public sector…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze whether higher education institutions (HEIs) in EU Member States are aware of the relevance of the ongoing reforms in public sector accounting (PSA) and the need to prepare their students to become expert professionals in that area. It particularly assesses whether these organizations currently provide, or will provide in the near future, education on International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS)/EPSAS, so that a sufficient number of graduates will be ready to match the foreseeable demand for experts in IPSAS/EPSAS.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a purposive sample, the paper compares the situation in four EU countries (Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain). Data have been obtained through a questionnaire provided to selected professors in relevant HEIs in the selected countries.

Findings

HEIs are giving only limited room to PSA and financial management, with differences in terms of program offerings and coverage of topics among the four countries. Furthermore, in most cases, the programs are adapted to the national budgetary and accounting standards and courses are seldom focused on the IPSASs.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature on PSA harmonization, through an innovative analysis of PSA and financial management teaching, both at national and international levels.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 33 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 August 2020

Francesca Manes-Rossi, Giuseppe Nicolò, Adriana Tiron Tudor and Gianluca Zanellato

This paper aims to explore the emerging phenomenon of integrated reporting (IR) in the context of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and proposes a longitudinal analysis of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the emerging phenomenon of integrated reporting (IR) in the context of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and proposes a longitudinal analysis of the level of IR disclosure (IRD) provided by a sample of European SOEs for the period 2013–2017, in accordance with IR framework requirements. The study also proposes an analysis of the possible explanatory factors driving the level of IRD. Specific attention is devoted to examine the influence exerted by the public ownership on the level of IRD provided by SOEs.

Design/methodology/approach

The IRs published by a balanced sample of 18 European SOEs between 2013 and 2017 were examined through a manual content analysis. Several analyzes were performed to assess the relationship between the level of IRD provided by SOEs and some possible determinants.

Findings

Results show an increasing level of disclosure during the observed period, confirming the relevance of IR as a tool for transparency and accountability within the context of SOEs. Statistical analyzes show that government ownership, external assurance, investor protection and global reporting initiative guidelines adoption positively affect the level of IRD, while SOE size exerts a negative influence.

Originality/value

As this paper examines a context which has been under-investigated, it presents fresh knowledge about the evolution of IR adoption by European SOEs. Furthermore, this paper identifies some of the explanatory factors that drive the preparation of IR, thus providing international integrated reporting council, policymakers and standard-setters with the relevant information for inclusion in specific guidelines for IR by SOEs.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 June 2020

Francesca Manes-Rossi, Marco Bisogno, Natalia Aversano and Francesca Citro

This study investigates the perceptions of intellectual capital (IC) among senior managers at Italian local healthcare units (LHUs) and the interrelations among IC…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the perceptions of intellectual capital (IC) among senior managers at Italian local healthcare units (LHUs) and the interrelations among IC components. It also provides a comprehensive definition of IC in the healthcare context and managerial guidance on improving IC to enhance LHU performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was carried out to investigate perceptions among LHU senior management and identify characteristics of each primary IC component. The pilot study's results were examined using principal component analysis.

Findings

The findings illustrate senior management's perceptions of IC in LHUs and the extent to which management identifies and manages IC. A comprehensive definition of IC components in the healthcare sector is derived from these findings.

Research limitations/implications

The research provides a better understanding of IC in the healthcare context and facilitates further research into how IC may be incorporated in quotidian organizational procedures. Results suggest that LHU managers should invest in increasing trust and respect and engage employees in organizational processes to provide recognition for the active role they play. Ongoing management of the three primary IC components is shown to have clear advantages, particularly on their connectivity.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to an increasingly important strand of theoretical research – IC in the healthcare context – and also adds new knowledge on the practical applications of IC in LHUs.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 33 no. 6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 30 July 2020

Francesca Manes-Rossi, Giuseppe Nicolò and Daniela Argento

Research dealing with non-financial reporting formats in public sector organizations is progressively expanding. This paper systematizes the existing literature with the…

2393

Abstract

Purpose

Research dealing with non-financial reporting formats in public sector organizations is progressively expanding. This paper systematizes the existing literature with the aim of understanding how research is developing and identifying the gaps in need of further investigation.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured literature review was conducted by rigorously following the steps defined in previous studies. The structured nature of the literature review paves the way for a solid understanding and critical analysis of the state of the art of research on non-financial reporting formats in public sector organizations.

Findings

The critical analysis of the literature shows that most existing studies have focused on sustainability reporting in higher education institutions, local governments and state-owned enterprises, while remaining silent on the healthcare sector. Additional theoretical and empirical approaches should feed future research. Several areas deserve further investigations that might impactfully affect public sector organizations, standard setters, practitioners and scholars.

Originality/value

This paper offers a comprehensive review of the literature on different reporting formats that public sector organizations adopt to report various dimensions of their performance to both internal and external stakeholders. The structured literature review enables the identification of future directions for the literature in this field.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 March 2017

Sandra Cohen, Antonella Costanzo and Francesca Manes-Rossi

This study aims to analyze whether and how a set of financial ratios calculated on the basis of financial statement information would allow auditors of Italian local…

1703

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze whether and how a set of financial ratios calculated on the basis of financial statement information would allow auditors of Italian local governments (LGs) to get an indication of LGs’ financial distress risk and, hence, to support politicians and managers in promptly detecting financial distress.

Design/methodology/approach

A model comprising a set of financial indicators that would distinguish distressed from not distressed LGs through a logistic regression approach has been estimated and applied to Italian LGs. The model is built on the basis of information pertaining to 44 distressed and 53 not distressed LGs for up to five years prior to bankruptcy and covers the period 2003-2012.

Findings

The model reveals that the percentage of personnel expenses over revenues, the turnover ratio of short-term liabilities over current revenues and the reliance on subsidies (calculated as subsidies per capita) are factors discriminating non-distressed LGs from the distressed ones.

Practical implications

The model could have political and practical implications. The possible use of this model as a complementary tool in auditing activities might be helpful for auditors in detecting financial distress promptly, thus potentially enabling politicians and managers to search for different ways to manage public resources to avoid the detrimental consequences related to the declaration of distress.

Originality/value

This model, contrary to existing models that use accrual accounting data, is applicable to LGs that adopt a modified cash accounting basis.

Details

Managerial Auditing Journal, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0268-6902

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 20 May 2020

James Guthrie, Francesca Manes Rossi, Rebecca Levy Orelli and Giuseppe Nicolò

The paper identifies the types of risks disclosed by Italian organisations using integrated reporting (IR). This paper aims to understand the level and features of risk…

1584

Abstract

Purpose

The paper identifies the types of risks disclosed by Italian organisations using integrated reporting (IR). This paper aims to understand the level and features of risk disclosure with the adoption of IR.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors use risk classifications already provided in the literature to develop a content analysis of Italian organisations’ integrated reports published.

Findings

The content analysis reveals that most of the Italian organisations incorporate many types of risk disclosure into their integrated reports. Organisations use this alternative form of reporting to communicate risk differently from how they disclose risks in traditional annual financial reporting. That is, the study finds that the organisations use their integrated reports to disclose a broader group of risks, related to the environment and society, and do so using narrative and visual representation.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to a narrow stream of research investigating risk disclosure provided through IR, contributing to the understanding of the role of IR in representing an organisational risk.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 28 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 December 2019

Francesca Manes-Rossi, Natalia Aversano and Paolo Tartaglia Polcini

The purpose of this paper is to explore a citizen-centered tool for public accountability, the popular report (PR). Elaborating on previous studies and on content analysis…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore a citizen-centered tool for public accountability, the popular report (PR). Elaborating on previous studies and on content analysis of a sample of municipalities in the USA, this paper aims to identify the qualitative characteristics and content elements that PR should have to serve as a legitimation tool.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopts a mixed methodology. After the analysis of previous studies on PR and best practices in US municipalities, a list of content elements and qualitative characteristics of PR is compared with results emerging from the content analysis of PR published by of a sample of municipalities in the USA.

Findings

The analysis reveals that the PR should embed information about the government’s sources of revenues and taxes, expenditures, cost of government services, liveability and governance of the city.

Research limitations/implications

The paper offers new knowledge on reporting centered on citizens, framing the analysis in the legitimacy theory. Even though the research relates only to the US context, the results may assist standard setters in preparing guidelines for local governments to communicate financial data to citizens and stimulate further research in other contexts.

Practical implications

The results may encourage local governments to prepare a PR suitable to discharge accountability and gain legitimation.

Originality/value

This study is the first to discuss the PR within a theoretical framework, in this case, legitimacy theory. Moreover, a further novelty lays in the analysis carried out on the PRs published by US municipalities in order to derive qualitative characteristics and content elements with which the PR should comply.

Details

Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting & Financial Management, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1096-3367

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 June 2021

Sandra Cohen, Francesca Manes-Rossi, Isabel Brusca and Eugenio Caperchione

Public financial management has been characterized by the implementation of several innovations and reforms that embrace different areas and scope. These reforms aim at…

Abstract

Purpose

Public financial management has been characterized by the implementation of several innovations and reforms that embrace different areas and scope. These reforms aim at expenditure rationalization and efficiency enhancement, as well as the improvement of accountability and performance. Despite research having already paid attention to these innovations and reforms, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats empirically faced by public sector organizations still need to be investigated. This editorial introduces the special issue by emphasizing on the lessons that can be learned from past reform experiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The editorial synthesizes some of the findings of the previous literature and evidences the necessity of both successful and unsuccessful stories, presenting a future agenda of research which emphasizes the use of case studies as a suitable method to get insights out of multiple experiences.

Findings

The four articles presented in this special issue, covering the topics of accrual accounting adoption, the use of financial statements by councilors, the use of performance information by politicians and the outsourcing of auditing in local governments, provide an overview of the efforts and challenges faced by public administrations by analyzing the influence of the institutional context, the relevance of political implications and their practical footprint.

Originality

In this special issue, four successful stories that touch upon multiple facets of public financial management in different country contexts are discussed, and they signal important takeaway messages for further reforms.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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