Institutionalising the Discourse of Executive Remuneration: An Analysis of Corporate Governance Codes and Annual Reports from Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom
This paper studies the influence of regulations on the disclosure in companies’ annual reports in Australian, New Zealand and the UK. In comparing the disclosure of companies in their 1998 and 2007 annual reports, the content analysis reveals that the disclosure became homogeneous and consistent with the regulations in Australia and the UK, but not in New Zealand. As there are few regulations in New Zealand related to executive remuneration, it is not surprising that the amount of voluntary disclosure in New Zealand companies’ annual reports has been minimal. These findings support institutional theory’s notion of institutional isomorphism: Normative pressure transmitted the language (or discourse) of executive remuneration from academia to practice; Coercive pressure has compelled companies to adopt this language in their annual reports; Mimetic pressure has reinforced this pattern in disclosure.