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Exploring the investor relations website: the impact of internet reporting on institutions

By Jo-Anne Ryan

Abstract

This thesis employed a case study approach to explore the rules and routines that have evolved within the Investor Relations (IR) functions of a large Canadian public company (ABC) from the inception of their IR website in 1997 to 2010. Utilizing weblog analysis, institutional theory (specifically, the Burns and Scapens (2000) institutional framework), and a detailed case study analysis of the interviews undertaken, the findings of this study illustrate that rules and routines of operation within an IR web team are likely to be dynamic and will evolve at a quick pace if the business is actively seeking to employ best practice in its IR website strategy. The results also show how both internal and various external influences are likely to play key roles in altering the rules and routines of IR websites operation. Within the case study presented, five distinct stages of institutionalization were recognized. The analysis framework used provided an effective tool to analyze the internal aspects of these stages. However, it was also enlarged to incorporate specific external influences to show how they play a parallel part in affecting activity in this domain specifically. The findings further show that there is minimal normative isomorphism occurring in this domain. It is proposed that the lack of formalized education in the IR website management and operation area may be playing a key role in constraining the further development of this. Further, the thesis concludes by highlighting the critical need for senior management ‘buy-in’, identification and development of a suitable lead for this activity within the company, and the right context in which they can be allowed freedom to innovate and explore best practices applicable to the online IR function, where-ever they may be found. These features must then be balanced with the overall strategic placement of the IR website as a best practice driver, or follower, to ensure a successful, strategically aligned operation in this domain. While these issues individually have been found to be important in other rapidly innovating business domains, this thesis illustrates and explores their need for the first time, in the IR field in the context of a recognized leader in its field

Topics: F1001 Canada (General), HG Finance, HB Economic Theory, HF5601 Accounting
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.bham.ac.uk:1530

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