Print ISSN: 2204-1990

Online ISSN: 1323-6903

Volume 15, Issue 2

Volume 15, Issue 2, Summer and Autumn 2009


Understanding Voluntary Disclosures in Australia

Norhani Aripin, Greg Tower, Grantley Taylor

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 1-16

This study provides preliminary analysis of the extent and quality of financial ratio disclosures in the 2007 annual reports of Australian listed companies. The extent of financial ratio disclosures is captured through a 43 item template. In addition a unique 16 item matrix, evolved from the International Accounting Standards Board’s conceptual framework to measure the quality of financial ratio disclosures, is developed. The extent of financial ratios by Australian firms is a surprisingly low 9.2 percent. Shareholders return and return on equity ratios were reported by at least half of the companies yet 16 other ratios had zero communication. The quality of the financial ratios is rated somewhat better with reliability tenets best presented and comparability issues the worst. Resource firms tended to have the lowest quality of disclosure. Consistent with agency theory, statistical analysis shows that larger firms—those with a higher proportion of independent directors and entities that have a higher proportion of independent auditors—are likely to disclose financial ratio information more extensively. The findings of this research have important implications for understanding managerial disclosure incentives as they relate to the extent and quality of financial ratio disclosures in Australia. Economic drivers seem to better explain extent than the inherent quality of such communication.

Generational Stratification: Aspirations of Generation Next

Ruth Taylor, Kandy Dayaram, Jane Coffey, Kirsten Holmes

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 17-32

Despite continuing recovery from the global financial crisis and improving employment levels, there is widespread consensus that Australia faces challenges of talent retention and skills shortages in both the public and private sectors. Currently, Generation Z—a demographic representing approximately 1.3 million Australians—is entering into higher education and the workforce. An understanding of the values and mindset of this generation is critical to the future Australian workplace in terms of delivering relevant education for both Generation Z and the workplace for which they are being educated. This paper uses qualitative research to identify the career aspirations, perceptions of work and family, and preference readiness for employment (particularly within the public sector) of Generation Z. The research found an increasingly conservative generation seeking high levels of flexibility and autonomy within the workplace. Implications for the public sector marketing itself as an employer of choice are discussed

Performance Auditing in the Public Sector: Reconceptualising the Task

Stuart Kells Graeme Hodge

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 33-60

Performance auditing (PA) is a prominent feature of public administration in many countries and is, today, often characterised through words such as efficiency, effectiveness and economy. The PA literature, however, considers a far wider variety of characteristics to be relevant and, therefore, a broader definition to be appropriate. This paper reviews the history of definitions of PA and concludes that it has thus far been defined in ways that lack clarity and leave definitional difficulties unresolved. The paper adopts a heuristic approach in examining elements making up past PA definitions and concludes that it is time to reconceptualise PA. Hence a new definitional framework for PA is proposed which rejects the so-called three Es construct and instead offers the five elements of independence, authorisation, discovery, synthesis and publication. This framework, it is argued, is stronger than any previous definitions, relevant to both the public and private sectors and also helpful in interpreting the place of many alternatives to PA such as investigative journalism, open book policies, whistleblower legislation and Gateway Reviews

Interest Rate Spread in Kenya: Results of a Survey of Commercial Banks

Dulacha Barako Abdinasir Ali

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 61-72

This paper examines interest rate spread in Kenya and seeks to address Eastern African region concerns on this subject by drawing on one country’s experience. This is a qualitative study that examines determinants of interest rate spread based on opinion surveys of staff from commercial banks in Kenya. Results of the data analysis indicate that the two most significant predictors of interest rate spread are provision for bad debts and administrative costs. Banks suggest various remedies for reducing interest rate spread, particularly an overhaul of the judicial review process to address cases relating to bad debts and the establishment of Credit Reference Bureaus. A number of policy recommendations are discussed

Determinants of Fair Value Financial Instrument and Share-Based Payment Disclosure Patterns of Australian Listed Firms

Meng Wei Grantley Taylor

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 73-94

This paper investigates the extent of mandatory Fair Value Financial Instrument Disclosures and Fair Value Share-Based Payment Disclosures in the first full year annual report prepared in accordance with the International Financial Reporting Standards of the top 100 Australian listed companies. The results demonstrate that internationalisation is a factor which is significantly and positively associated with fair value share-based payment disclosure patterns and the strength of corporate governance structure and leverage are positively and significantly associated with fair value financial instrument disclosure patterns. This paper contributes to an understanding of the extent and rationale behind Australian listed firms’ fair value disclosure practices

Internal Corporate Governance and Organisational Performance: Evidence from Indonesia

Amin Wibowo, Robert Evans Mohammed Quaddus

Journal of Contemporary Issues in Business and Government, 2009, Volume 15, Issue 2, Pages 95-111

Despite the growing awareness, in many studies of organisational performance, of the importance of corporate governance, the majority of these studies have been based upon archival data from developed countries with one-tier board systems and have focused on governance structures rather than their performance. This study develops a measure of internal corporate governance based on managers’ assessment of the extent to which governance processes are effectively enacted. Reporting the responses of a sample of 496 managers of companies in Indonesia, where two tier boards are the norm, the study reveals that effective internal corporate governance mechanisms are only weakly associated with improved organisational performance.