Title: An empirical examination of corporate websites as a voluntary disclosure medium

Authors: Samir Trabelsi; Roger Debreceny; Andrew Lymer

Addresses: Department of Accounting, Brock University, 500, Glenridge Avenue, St. Catharines Ontario, L2S 3A1, Canada ' School of Accountancy, Shidler College of Business, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2404 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA ' Birmingham Business School, University House, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK

Abstract: Standards-setters, regulators and academics believe that corporate websites may enhance the flow of voluntary disclosure to the capital market and other stakeholders. Management's use of corporate websites for investor relations purposes is a common practice, yet we know little about how these websites affect investors. In this study, we analyse seven corporate websites disclosures categories to examine their predictive ability and their value relevance. The results show that the key non-financial statistics, projected information, information on intangible assets, social and environmental information, are associated with future revenue, future earnings and contemporaneous stock return. The paper contributes to the growing literature on websites disclosure and more generally to the literature on voluntary and strategic disclosure.

Keywords: corporate websites; content analysis; information content; voluntary disclosure; capital markets; stakeholders; predictive ability; value relevance; strategic disclosure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJADS.2014.058038

International Journal of Applied Decision Sciences, 2014 Vol.7 No.1, pp.1 - 32

Available online: 14 Nov 2013 *

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