Country-specific Determinants and Effectiveness Factors of the Adoption of Social Media-based Corporate Disclosures

Ma, Lin
Rahman, Asheq
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Master of Philosophy
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Auckland University of Technology

While it is well known that social media platforms are useful channels for corporate disclosure in the US, the adoption and effectiveness of social media-based corporate disclosure (SMCD) is little scrutinized in the rest of the world. Since cultures, legal systems, and, other country-specific factors can influence financial reporting practice, it is reasonable to assume that these factors can influence SMCD, a most contemporary type of corporate disclosure.

This thesis unveils the country-specific determinants of SMCD adoption and the effectiveness of SMCD using social media data of 2018 and 2019 from 1,420 companies listed in 33 stock exchanges. First, the theory of planned behaviour is adopted to build a model to predict decision making on SMCD adoption. Then, Berlo’s Sender-Message- Channel-Receiver (SMCR) communication model is used to build ordinary least squares regression models to predict the effectiveness of SMCD.

The results show that while some firm-specific factors tend to act as determinants of SMCD and have market effects, country-level factors play an important role in the determination of SMCD and its influence on the market. Specifically, it is found that country-specific factors, such as culture, legal systems, and country-level governance are associated with the adoption and effectiveness of SMCD. Therefore, the conclusions from US-based studies may not be generalisable to the rest of the world if the country-specific factors are ignored.
Social media , International accounting , quantitative , Corporate disclosure , Business communication
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