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  • 2019MunroPhD

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Capital market outcomes and linguistic attributes of high-quality annual report narratives

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Published
Publication date2019
Number of pages229
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
Supervisors/Advisors
Publisher
  • Lancaster University
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This thesis explores capital market outcomes and linguistic features of high-quality narrative reporting. U.K. narrative reporting awards proxy for quality: award-winners are high-quality. To explore capital market outcomes to narrative reporting quality, I use a matched-sample design (award-winners matched with non-award-winners) and find that high-quality annual report narratives are seemingly less informative to capital market participants. Further analysis indicates that high-quality annual report narratives are less informative than their matched counterparts at the annual report release date because firms with high-quality annual report narratives disclose information earlier than their peers. To explore the linguistic features of high-quality narratives, I use corpus linguistic methodology (specifically the concept of keyness) to identify themes and stylistic features that distinguish high-quality narratives from their non-high-quality counterparts. High-quality narratives disclose more strategy and forward-looking information than their non-high-quality counterparts, and are more accessible. Accessibility is defined by simple sentence structures, connectivity within the report, and relevancy markers. In further analysis, extant quality proxies of readability and tone fail to identify high-quality narratives.