An exploration of the relationship between language choice in CEO letters to shareholders and corporate reputation

Craig, Russell J.; Brennan, Niamh M.
September 2012
Accounting Forum;Sep2012, Vol. 36 Issue 3, p166
Academic Journal
Abstract: This paper proposes a taxonomy to assist in more clearly locating research on aspects of the association between corporate reputation and corporate accountability reporting. We illustrate how our proposed taxonomy can be applied by using it to frame our exploration of the relationship between measures of reputation and characteristics of the language choices made in CEO letters to shareholders. Using DICTION 5.0 software we analyse the content of the CEO letters of 23 high reputation US firms and 23 low reputation US firms. Our results suggest that company size and visibility each have a positive influence on the extent to which corporate reputation is associated with the language choices made in CEO letters. These results, which are anomalous when compared with those of , highlight the need for caution when assessing claims about the effects on corporate reputation arising from the language choice in narratives in corporate annual reports.


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