Purpose – The first objective of this study is to examine the nature and extent of intellectual capital (IC) information Australian hospitals disclose to their stakeholders (patients, general public, healthcare professionals) via the internet. The second objective is to examine whether four hospital characteristics influence the disclosure of IC‐related information. Design/methodology/approach – Analysis reported in this study is based on IC disclosures by 128 hospitals on their internet web sites. IC disclosure is measured using an 85‐item research constructed index that covers six major sub‐categories. Measurement of IC disclosure was conducted during a four month period in the last third of 2005. Findings – It is found that whilst the incidence rate of hospitals disclosing IC information is high, the extent of IC disclosure is relatively low. The quantity of IC disclosure varied significantly between different IC sub‐categories. In addition, the paper investigates possible determinants of variations in IC disclosure by Australian hospitals. Specifically, it is found that the quantity of IC information disclosed on a hospital web site varied according to the state location, designation as a private or public hospital, whether the hospital is specialized or general in its operations, and if the hospital is based in a city or regional location. A hospital's designation as being network or non‐networked is not a significant determinant. Originality/value – Few studies have examined the disclosure of IC information by healthcare providers such as hospitals. No studies, to the knowledge of the authors, have examined the specific disclosure of IC information by hospitals on their internet web sites.
Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 10, 2007
Keywords: Intellectual capital; Disclosure; Internet; Hospitals; Private hospitals; Australia