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

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  • Craig, Russell J.
  • Brennan, Niamh M.

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 Geppert and Lawrence (2008), 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Craig, Russell J. & Brennan, Niamh M., 2012. "An exploration of the relationship between language choice in CEO letters to shareholders and corporate reputation," Accounting forum, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 166-177.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:accfor:v:36:y:2012:i:3:p:166-177
    DOI: 10.1016/j.accfor.2012.02.004
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    1. repec:bla:ausact:v:28:y:2018:i:1:p:109-126 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:6:p:1008-:d:101079 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:aic:jopafl:y:2016:v:9:p:93-107 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Olivier Boiral, 2016. "Accounting for the Unaccountable: Biodiversity Reporting and Impression Management," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(4), pages 751-768, June.
    5. repec:eee:accfor:v:42:y:2018:i:3:p:219-234 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Saverio Bozzolan & Charles Cho & Giovanna Michelon, 2015. "Impression Management and Organizational Audiences: The Fiat Group Case," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 143-165, January.

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