The development of corporate web-sites

This research identifies best practice in the use of the Internet as a reporting medium by documenting the processes of how companies are preparing to take advantage of the Internet as an alternative and enhanced means of communicating with their stakeholders.

1 January 2004
Joel Amernic
Russell Craig
Dennis Tourish

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CEOs have a strong influence on the tone at the top of companies. How they exercise this influence has the potential to affect the quality of financial reporting. Consequently, it is important that auditors and other users find a way of examining and evaluating the tone at the top and the resultant risks to which companies might be exposed.

The authors contend that the CEO letter to shareholders in annual reports is one of the most important of the mediums used by corporate leaders to communicate their attitudes and values. They argue that by analysing the text of such letters, auditors and other interested parties can gain insight into the tone at the top of major corporations.

This book demonstrates two complementary methods for undertaking this analysis. First, through the use of the text analysis software package DICTION to analyse the CEO letters of FTSE 100 companies and the top 100 FORTUNE 500 companies. Second, through conducting a close reading or forensic examination of selected company letters (General Electric, Enron, BP and New Century Financial) to understand their inherent ideology, rhetoric and use of metaphors, and to highlight any silences.


  • Research
  • Corporate Communications

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