Corporate Annual Reports as Promotional Tools: The Case of Australian National Industries Limited

Maria Cadiz Dyball*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Critical accounting research has viewed corporate annual reports as the signed public records of organisations' dominant managerial groups and/or as reflective and constitutive of a wider set of societal values. To date, however, there has been little research on the social context of these reports. This paper seeks to further explore and question the role of corporate annual reports in post-modernity. Since the end of World War II, a post-modern, media-dominated culture has risen in Western countries like Australia. The question of this paper is whether corporate annual reports are instrumental in reflecting and reproducing this consumerist culture. A content analysis of Australian National Industries Limited's annual reports from 1962 – 1991 demonstrates that there is a link in the content and form of these reports and the rise of a consumerist culture in Australia. This paper shows that if everything can be made to sell, so aesthetics can be commodified and be made part of a product (corporate annual reports) whose primary objective is to convince dispersed stakeholder groups that the company and its management are worth investing in.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-53
Number of pages29
JournalAsian Review of Accounting
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 1998


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