Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine whether CEOs use multi‐stakeholder communications in their annual report letters and to describe any patterns observed in those communications. Design/methodology/approach – Annual report letters of the ten largest US companies were examined using content and text analysis procedures. Findings – CEOs made little use of multi‐stakeholder communications in their annual letters. Some variations were found among the sample companies' letters, including differences in word counts, reading ease scores, and number of word types. Research limitations/implications – A small sample of companies and one medium of communication were used in carrying out the study. Increasing the sample size, the array of industries represented, and the variety of media may yield more robust results. Practical implications – Recommendations for communicating with a multi‐stakeholder audience are proposed. Originality/value – The paper examines how stakeholders relate both to the organization and to one another, a focus not examined in great depth elsewhere in the literature.
Corporate Communications: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 3, 2012
Keywords: Annual reports; Chief executives; Corporate communication; Multi‐stakeholder approach; Text analysis; Communication; Large enterprises; United States of America
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