Lessons for progressing narrative reporting: Learning from the experience of disseminating the Danish Intellectual Capital Statement approach
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionAccounting Forum. 2017, 41 (3), 161-171. 10.1016/j.accfor.2017.06.002
The case for the greater use of narrative disclosures within the annual report package continues to attract support from accounting academics. After a decade of comparatively limited attention, the topic of narrative reporting has returned to the accounting research agenda, in part in association with integrated reporting and a growing interest in accounting for business models, as well as a resurgence of intellectual capital research. In the light of a continuing optimism that narrative reporting will eventually assume its rightful place within financial reporting, the paper reports and reflects upon the findings of a study of the outcome of the Danish Guideline Project in the decade following its conclusion in late 2002. This initiative placed a heavy emphasis on the extension of narrative reporting in its principal output, the Intellectual Capital Statement, still widely regarded as a highly promising intellectual capital reporting framework. Based on insights derived from the study, the paper identifies a number of major obstacles that confront the advocates of narrative disclosure practices, the persistence of which is rooted in the contestable jurisdiction that characterises the accountancy profession itself.