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Voluntary narrative disclosures by local governments: a comparative analysis of the textual complexity of mayoral and chairpersons' letters in annual reports

Citation

Clarke, DP and Hrasky, S and Tan, C, Voluntary narrative disclosures by local governments: a comparative analysis of the textual complexity of mayoral and chairpersons' letters in annual reports, Australian Journal of Public Administration, 68, (2) pp. 194-207. ISSN 0313-6647 (2009) [Refereed Article]


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The definitive published version is available online at: http://www.interscience.wiley.com

Official URL: http://www.interscience.wiley.com

DOI: doi:10.1111/j.1467-8500.2009.00630.x

Abstract

Research on local government annual reports has been limited, particularly in relation to report narratives. This study aims to determine whether characteristics of narratives vary between the reports of local governments and listed companies. After considering the nature of the potential report audiences it was predicted that, if writers consider their audience, local government report narratives would be easier to read, less likely to be obfuscated, and use fewer passive sentences than those in corporate reports. The results suggest that mayoral letters exhibit higher reading ease and are less likely to be obfuscated than their corporate counterparts but they are also shorter and contain more passive constructions, making conclusions about readability and understandability ambiguous. This research acquaints readers with important aspects to consider when preparing or evaluating narrative reports.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:annual reports readability local government narrative disclosures accountability
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Accounting, Auditing and Accountability
Research Field:Accounting, Auditing and Accountability not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Cultural Understanding
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Communication not elsewhere classified
Author:Clarke, DP (Mr Daniel Clarke)
Author:Hrasky, S (Dr Susan Hrasky)
Author:Tan, C (Ms Caroline Tan)
ID Code:62303
Year Published:2009
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Accounting and Corporate Governance
Deposited On:2010-03-11
Last Modified:2014-10-31
Downloads:0

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