The impact of corporate characteristics on Voluntary disclosure in the annual reports of Jordanian public shareholding Industrial companies

Abstract

Recently, as the result of the recent financial scandals (Parmalat, Enron, WorldCom, ImClone, Adelphia, and Tyco) companies all over the world appear to expand their accountability in social and environmental issues by internalising such concerns into their agenda in order to prevent such potential crisis. Voluntary Disclosure is recognised as having the potential to enhance transparency and credibility for the company's objectives and to manage their stakeholders in order to have their support and approval through the creation of social and environmental reputation. The purpose of this study is to investigate and examined the relationship between specific Company Characteristics and Voluntary Disclosure level in annual reports of 56 Jordanian Public Shareholding Industrial companies listed on the Amman Stock Exchange over the period 2014-2016. The company characteristics used in the study are; Audit Type, Firm Age, Firm Size, Profitability, Leverage. The data collection methodology of the study is content analysis of annual reports of listed companies in the Amman Stock Exchange. A disclosure checklist consisting of 54 voluntary items is developed to measure levels of voluntary disclosure of the sample companies and sample statistical analysis is performed using multiple regression analysis. The findings of this study provide evidence of a positive association between voluntary disclosure level and Audit Type, Firm Age, Firm Size (in terms of total asset) and Profitability. In Contrast, negative association is observed between Companies listing leverage and voluntary disclosure.study contributes to the understanding of Voluntary Disclosure in the context of developing countries in general and Jordan in particular. Furthermore, the finding of the study may be of interest to policy makers and regulators who want to improve corporate voluntary disclosure in Jordan.