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The relevance of intellectual capital disclosure: a paradox?

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Many firms have started disclosing information on intellectual capital. Financial analysts, however, ask for more disclosure related to strategy and often find intellectual capital statement less relevant. Drawing on results from a study of disclosure of information on intellectual capital in Danish initial public offering (IPO) prospectuses, this commentary argues that the perceived irrelevance of intellectual capital is somewhat paradoxical since intellectual capital reports and recent prospectuses share remarkable similarities with respect to the intellectual capital indicators disclosed. Further, the commentary argues that, for intellectual capital disclosure to be perceived as relevant from a capital market perspective, the information should be disclosed as an integral part of a framework illuminating the value creation processes of the firm. The emerging practice with respect to intellectual capital offers such a framework for disclosing the business model of the knowledge-based company.
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Keywords: Capital Markets; Disclosure; Financial Analysts; Intellectual Capital

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 12, 2003

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