Voluntary Disclosure of Intellectual Assets and Intellectual Liabilities: Impact on Financial Performance in Publicly Listed Firms in the United Arab Emirates


  • George Majdalany
  • Jeffrey Henderson


Keywords: intellectual assets, intellectual liabilities, disclosure, financial performance, United Arab Emirates


Abstract: Financial reporting is an important, crucial task for achieving and sustaining a well‑organized, farsighted business. Furthermore, investor demand for relevant information and improved quality and timeliness of financial information is increasing in the face of deteriorating usefulness of traditionally reported earnings, cash flows, and equity values. Thus, many accounting industry practitioners, analysts, and researchers now see Intellectual Capital (IC) as a driver for a firms long term business competitiveness. However, most IC studies have overlooked the negative side of IC which is referred to as Intellectual Liabilities (IL). Therefore, the objective of the present research is to explore through empirical analysis how Intellectual Assets (IA) and IL components, as independent variables, influence Firm Financial Performance (FFP) as a dependent variable. The present study uses content analysis of 2010 and 2011 annual reports for all publicly listed companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Multivariate regression analysis is employed to answer the research question: What are the characteristics of a new conceptual model that assists in explaining the relationships between IC disclosure and FFP for companies listed on the UAE stock exchanges? The findings indicate a statistically positive relationship between Human Assets (HA), Relational Assets (RA), Structural Assets (SA), Human Liabilities (HL), Relational Liabilities (RL), and Structural Liabilities (RL) on one hand, and Return on Equity (ROE) on the other hand. However, this research has some limitations which include the restrictions inherent in the content analysis method, in addition to the external validity to other jurisdictions due to the sample being chosen from the UAE only. In terms of practical implications, the findings of this study provide an insight to firm managers on the impact of increased transparency and disclosure on FFP.



1 Nov 2013