Information behavior of private investors in the age of the internet

Andreas Hellmann*, Simone Domenico Scagnelli, Bernd Jörs

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The internet is increasingly used by corporations for investor relation purposes and by investors as source of information. This chapter outlines how corporations incorporate this technology in their financial reporting strategies, and reviews relevant literature in regard to the online behavior of private investors. Specifically, the chapter outlines the development of the internet from its beginning in the 1960s to a major source of information for private investors, and highlights the different types of online information disseminated by corporations. It identifies that prior research focused on the internet financial reporting practices of companies, and largely ignored information needs of investors. This chapter suggests that future research about the effectiveness of internet financial reporting should incorporate a user-perspective in their research design. For this purpose, it introduces Wilson"s model of information (seeking) behavior, which may be useful in guiding future research examining the information behavior of investors. Specifically, this model depicts information seeking behavior as an iterative process which is influenced by several factors such as the context of information needs and the socio-cultural environment. Prior research focused largely on a description of internet financial reporting based on content analysis. Such research can be enhanced using experimental and qualitative research approaches derived from Wilson"s model. This would be useful because it clearly shows that information seeking behavior is mainly driven by behavioral aspects such as human relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBehavioral Accounting
EditorsAndreas Hellman
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781626180567
ISBN (Print)9781626180390
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameBusiness Economics in a Rapidly-Changing World
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.


Dive into the research topics of 'Information behavior of private investors in the age of the internet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this