Preparers’ construction of users’ information needs in corporate reporting: A case study


This paper studies how preparers assess users’ information needs and preferences, and how these constructions relate to preparers’ reporting decisions. Drawing on interviews as well as other internal and external data, our qualitative case study focuses on a prominent annual report restructuring at the large industrial firm Siemens. Employing the theoretical framework of institutional logics allows us to trace how Siemens’ changing context influenced the ways in which actors dynamically reconsidered the meaning and purpose of the annual report. We document how the previously coexisting compliance and stakeholder logics gave way to a dominant capital market logic, which required Siemens actors – similar to standard setters – to construct the notion of ‘usefulness’ for capital providers. Constructing users as vulnerable to disclosure overload and interested in the annual report only as a confirmatory tool, Siemens transformed the annual report into a concise compliance document. We conclude that changes in corporate reporting reflect dynamic shifts and reinterpretations of institutional logics shaped by firm-specific contextual factors.

Beteiligte Institutionen

Die Hauptstandorte vom TRR 266 sind die Universität Paderborn (Sprecherhochschule), die HU Berlin und die Universität Mannheim. Alle drei Standorte sind seit vielen Jahren Zentren für Rechnungswesen- und Steuerforschung. Hinzu kommen Wissenschaftler der LMU München, der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, der WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, der ESMT Berlin, der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt und der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, die die gleiche Forschungsagenda verfolgen.