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Perceptions of Corporate Annual Reports' Users toward Accounting Information and Voluntary Disclosure and its Determinants: The Case of Kuwait

ALMUTAWAA, ABDULLAH,M,A,E (2013) Perceptions of Corporate Annual Reports' Users toward Accounting Information and Voluntary Disclosure and its Determinants: The Case of Kuwait. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This study investigates four significant dimensions of the corporate annual reports (CARs) environment in one of the emerging markets in the Middle East, Kuwait: [1] the perceptions of major external users of annual reports regarding current voluntary disclosure practices, [2] the identification of voluntary items perceived as useful, [3] the assessment of voluntary disclosure levels and their evolvement over the period covered by the current study (2005-2008), [4] the impact of a comprehensive set of company characteristics and corporate governance attributes on explaining variations in the extent of disclosure. A questionnaire survey is used to test the first two dimensions, covering four user groups, while hand-collected data from a sample of 206 annual reports of non-financial companies and other complementary sources are used to test the other two. The study employs a theoretical framework (agency, signalling, legitimacy, and stakeholder theories) to explore the motivations of companies to release voluntary information.
The 143 received responses are analysed using Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney tests. The analysis brings to light the remarkable agreement among the participants on the importance of CARs, interim reports, and advice from specialists as sources of information for making judgments. Regarding the level of voluntary disclosure, respondents strongly agree that the annual reports of listed companies provide inadequate information to users. Participants also indicate their desire for more information to be required than companies currently provide, to improve decision making and the usefulness of CARs. The results suggest that most users believe that there is a necessity to develop sophisticated capital market infrastructure and comprehensive regulations to help foster confidence in the capital market and protect market participants.
Although multivariate analysis reveals that the actual level of voluntary disclosure is low, the overall level is gradually improving over time. The extent of voluntary disclosure tends to be significantly higher as the percentage of government ownership increases. Disclosure practices are also positively influenced by cross-listing and company size. Conversely, voluntary disclosure practices are negatively influenced by cross-directorships, board size, role duality, and company growth, while family members, ruling family on the board, and audit committees have no bearing on disclosure. Interestingly, the determinants of disclosure vary among the categories of information. No single explanatory variable explains the variation in the overall level of voluntary disclosure and the variations in the disclosure level of all categories of information.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Voluntary Disclosure; Perceptions; User groups; Accounting Information; Kuwait
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2013
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 Apr 2013 11:14

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