When the investors speak: intellectual capital disclosure and the Web 2.0

Maurizio Massaro*, John Dumay, Carlo Bagnoli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate intellectual capital (IC) discussions held between investors using Web 2.0 tools. More precisely, this paper investigates the determinants of IC disclosures (ICDs) on internet stock message boards (IMBs). Design/methodology/approach: Four hypotheses were developed and tested through content analysis of 60,996 messages posted on two main IMBs, Yahoo!Finance and TheLion.com, followed by descriptive statistics and logistic regression testing. Findings: The findings show that Web 2.0 is bringing new opportunities to disclose IC. Traditional theories, such as agency, stakeholder, signalling, and legitimacy theory, cannot be applied to the Web 2.0 context. Therefore, a new approach that focusses more on the personal motivations for disclosing IC is called for. At a glance, the results show that IC is disclosed on IMBs, and several elements influence both the quantity and quality of those disclosures. Sometimes “trolls” disturb the dialogue and discourage participation by other investors. Conversely, online influencers facilitate ICD. To filter messages, the time of posting, the length of the messages, and the sentiment the messages contain should be considered along with the author of the message. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the existing literature by investigating the IC disclosed on IMBs. The findings provide insights about how ICDs are developed using Web 2.0 tools.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1888-1904
Number of pages17
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Disclosure
  • Intellectual capital
  • Web 2.0


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