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Aalto University School of Business Master's Theses are now in the Aaltodoc publication archive (Aalto University institutional repository)
School of Business | Department of Accounting and Finance | Accounting | 2010
Thesis number: 12447
Future orientation of narrative information in European half-yearly financial reports
Author: Tiainen, Heli
Title: Future orientation of narrative information in European half-yearly financial reports
Year: 2010  Language: eng
Department: Department of Accounting and Finance
Academic subject: Accounting
Index terms: laskentatoimi; accounting; vuosikertomukset; annual reports; raportit; reports; rahoitus; financing; tieto; knowledge; tulevaisuus; future
Pages: 82
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_12447.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1304725)
Key terms: future orientation; tulevaisuussuuntautuneisuus; verb tenses; verbin aikamuodot; narrative reporting; kerronnallinen raportointi; financial disclosure; taloudellinen tiedonanto; half-yearly financial report; puolivuotiskatsaus

The purpose of the study is to reveal the common characteristics that connect companies with future-oriented reporting. The reporting practices of European companies regarding time orientation, amount of content and readability are also analyzed. The study is premised on the pioneering field of research combining content analysis, narrative information, and time orientation, pursuing to enable further investigation of the value relevance of future-oriented reporting.


The sample involves 360 public companies listed on the STOXX Europe Total Market Index and domiciled in the European Union member states. The data consists of the narrative parts of the companies’ half-yearly financial reports published in 2008 and 2009. Future orientation is measured as the proportion of future tense verbs from all verbs.


The findings of the multivariate regression analysis show that the regional background (involving the legal system and culture) can be utilized to predict changes in the future orientation of reporting. Furthermore, higher proportion of equity and multinationality measured by foreign sales are positively associated with future-oriented reporting, whereas firm size is negatively related to future-oriented reporting. The variables of dividend yield and growth also appear to have some statistical significance.
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