Forward-Looking Intellectual Capital Information in Integrated Reporting: An Empirical Analysis

  •  Elisa Menicucci    
  •  Guido Paolucci    


The aim of the paper is to explore the amount of forward-looking intellectual capital information (FL_ICI) in Integrated Reporting (IR) and the effect of firm characteristics on FL_ICI within this context. This study empirically bridges the research gap on the issues of forward-looking information (FLI) and adds to intellectual capital (IC) disclosure research. In particular, the paper responses to two research questions specifically: what are the extent and the content of FL_ICI and what are the factors that impact on different IC voluntary reporting behaviors in IR. A content analysis is apply to inspect the subjects and the amount of FL_ICI in reports accessible in the web site of the International Integrated Reporting Council. Five Models are verified using a multivariate regression analysis to investigate the influence of three independent variables (firm size, profitability and leverage) on FL_ICI. The research proves that companies are reluctant to disclose FL_ICI in integrated reports. The findings of the research show that the majority of FL_ICI regards relational capital. The regression model also reveals that firm size and profitability have a statistically significant influence on specific topics of FL_ICI. On the contrary, leverage appears insignificant in determining the amount of FL_ICI. The research contributes to prior disclosure literature regarding forward-looking information since prior research results are unclear. There is a limited number of studies that investigated FL_ICI in relation to firm characteristics and no studies have investigated this issue within the setting of IR.

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