The impact of board independence and ownership structure on the timeliness of corporate internet reporting of Irish-listed companies

Abd-Elsalam, Omneya H. and El-Masry, Ahmed (2008). The impact of board independence and ownership structure on the timeliness of corporate internet reporting of Irish-listed companies. Managerial finance, 34 (12), pp. 907-918.

Abstract

Purpose – This study seeks to provide valuable new insight into the timeliness of corporate internet reporting (TCIR) by a sample of Irish-listed companies. Design/methodology/approach – The authors apply an updated version of Abdelsalam et al. TCIR index to assess the timeliness of corporate internet reporting. The index encompasses 13 criteria that are used to measure the TCIR for a sample of Irish-listed companies. In addition, the authors assess the timeliness of posting companies’ annual and interim reports to their web sites. Furthermore, the study examines the influence of board independence and ownership structure on the TCIR behaviour. Board composition is measured by the percentage of independent directors, chairman’s dual role and average tenure of directors. Ownership structure is represented by managerial ownership and blockholder ownership. Findings – It is found that Irish-listed companies, on average, satisfy only 46 per cent of the timeliness criteria assessed by the timeliness index. After controlling for size, audit fees and firm performance, evidence that TCIR is positively associated with board of director’s independence and chief executive officer (CEO) ownership is provided. Furthermore, it is found that large companies are faster in posting their annual reports to their web sites. The findings suggest that board composition and ownership structure influence a firm’s TCIR behaviour, presumably in response to the information asymmetry between management and investors and the resulting agency costs. Practical implications – The findings highlight the need for improvement in TCIR by Irish-listed companies in many areas, especially in regard to the regular updates of information provided on their web sites. Originality/value – This study represents one of the first comprehensive examinations of the important dimension of the TCIR in Irish-listed companies.

Uncontrolled Keywords: Ireland, financial reporting, online operations, internet, corporate ownership
Published Date: 2008

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