Forward-looking intellectual capital disclosure in IPOs: Implications for intellectual capital and integrated reporting

Tatiana Garanina*, John Dumay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This study contributes to intellectual capital (IC) disclosure research. Focussing on reducing the information asymmetry associated with agency theory, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the extent to which managers and owners disclose IC in initial public offering (IPO) prospectuses. In particular, it examines the influence on post-issue stock performance based on the IPOs of technology companies listing on the NASDAQ from 2002 to 2013. Parallels are drawn to integrated reporting (<IR>), which was developed after the global financial crisis (GFC) because of the perceived shortcomings of regulated forms of financial reporting. Design/methodology/approach: The authors apply a two-stage methodology, using content analysis of prospectuses to determine the extent of IC disclosure, then combining this data with market data using regression analysis to determine the influence of IC disclosure in IPO prospectuses on post-issue stock performance. Findings: According to the content analysis results, these IPO prospectuses contain significant amounts of IC disclosure for the subsequent analysis. The authors find that after the GFC technology companies disclose more IC information. The econometric analysis also reveals that IC disclosure has a higher influence on post-issue stock performance after the GFC than before. Research limitations/implications: The research shows how IPO prospectuses are a valid form of disclosure to investigate the impact of reducing IC information asymmetry because they contain significant amounts of forward-looking non-financial information about the company’s development. Additionally, the results are relevant to discussions about the impact of <IR>. If IC and non-financial disclosures contained in an integrated report are forward-looking and reduce information asymmetry then <IR> may have value relevance to a firm. Practical implications: The research confirms that more IC disclosure information in prospectuses may positively influence companies’ post-issue stock performance, especially in the long run. However, the authors caution that disclosing IC information to investors is not the panacea for increased post-IPO share performance. Originality/value: This paper is novel because it shows the value relevance of IC disclosures to reduce information asymmetry through its focus on prospectuses, which helps to understand of the potential impact of <IR>.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-148
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Intellectual Capital
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Agency theory
  • Content analysis
  • Information asymmetry
  • Integrated reporting
  • Intellectual capital
  • Intellectual capital disclosure


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