Impression Management in Letters to Shareholders: Evidence from Poland

Dominika Hadro , Karol Marek Klimczak , Marek Pauka


We study impression management in an emerging market setting with high ownership concentration. Using content analysis, we identify impression management techniques in a sample of letters to shareholders written in the Polish language by the 60 largest companies listed at the Warsaw Stock Exchange in 2008 and 2013. We find patterns in the occurrence of these techniques with the use of k-means clustering: the largest cluster includes letters that praise the management, while the rest include defensive arguments, discussions of negative outcomes and short, formal letters. The more concentrated ownership is, the shorter the letters are, which indicates that management invest less effort in communicating with investors. This is particularly visible in companies held by insiders, which tend to produce short, formal letters, devoid of impression management. In contrast, companies controlled by foreign shareholders prepare letters that are longer and which are more likely to present defensive arguments, while institutional non-controlling shareholders favour extensive disclosure. The results shed light upon communication practices in Central and Eastern Europe, and offer implications for regulators and managers that may help strengthen the information environment in regional stock markets.
Author Dominika Hadro (ES / DF)
Dominika Hadro,,
- Department of Finance
, Karol Marek Klimczak
Karol Marek Klimczak,,
, Marek Pauka (ES / DF)
Marek Pauka,,
- Department of Finance
Journal seriesAccounting in Europe, ISSN 1744-9480, e-ISSN 1744-9499, (15 pkt)
Issue year2017
Publication size in sheets1.25
Keywords in EnglishPoland, financial reporting, content analysis, governance, emerging market
Languageen angielski
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Score (nominal)15
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 2
Citation count*16 (2020-09-26)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.