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Disclosure of intellectual capital in the annual reports by the IT companies: an exploratory study of India



At present, disclosure of intellectual capital information is done by very few leading companies, purely on a 'voluntary' basis. Unfortunately, the omission of IC information may adversely influence the quality of decisions made by shareholders, or lead to material misstatements. This study attempts to provide an insight into the 'narrative' style of IC disclosures done by Indian companies. Initially, a longitudinal study was carried out to analyse how Indian firms – Reliance Industries Limited, Balrampur Chini Mills and Shree Cement Limited – measure and report their IC reports. In order to survey the recent IC disclosure scenario, we conducted another study of 16 Indian IT companies in which the 'content analysis' was done on their 2007 to 2009 annual reports. The results of this study confirmed that IC disclosure in these IT companies is almost negligible and its disclosure had not received any preference from the mentors of these corporations. IC reports may initially be used for 'internal' management purposes; but an 'external' stakeholder-focus of IC report should be the ultimate goal.

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