Clicca qui per scaricare

Oral financial reporting: A rhetorical analysis of earnings calls
Titolo Rivista: FINANCIAL REPORTING 
Autori/Curatori: Belinda Crawford Camiciottoli 
Anno di pubblicazione:  2012 Fascicolo: Lingua: Inglese 
Numero pagine:  20 P. 15-34 Dimensione file:  636 KB
DOI:  10.3280/FR2012-004003
Il DOI è il codice a barre della proprietà intellettuale: per saperne di più:  clicca qui   qui 


Earnings calls are a key form of voluntary financial reporting through which companies seek to proactively engage investors. Although now quite routine, little is known about their rhetorical dimension. Inspired by Aristotlean classical rhetoric, this paper offers an exploratory analysis of the language of a small sample of earnings calls to identify expressions of logos (reason), ethos (credibility) and pathos (emotion). Text analysis software was used to generate descriptive data for follow-up qualitative analysis to interpret strategic usage. Results indicate a strong presence of persuasive language that is skillfully juxtaposed by company executives with financial information to emphasize success and instill confidence. The findings can be applied towards developing state-of-the-art courses for students of financial communication and towards enhancing the effectiveness of financial reporting.


Keywords: Financial reporting, classical rhetoric, earnings calls, corpus linguistics.

  1. Aerts W. and Tarca A. (2010), Financial performance explanations and institutional setting, Accounting and Business Research, 40(5), pp. 421-450, 10.1080/0001478.2010.9995322DOI: 10.1080/0001478.2010.9995322
  2. Argenti P. (2009), Corporate Communication, 5th Edition. (New York: McGraw-Hill).
  3. Bargiela-Chiappini F. and Harris S.J. (1997), Managing Language: The Discourse of Corporate Meetings. (Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins).
  4. Beattie V., Dhanani A. and Jones M.J. (2008), Investigating presentational change in U.K. annual reports: A longitudinal perspective, Journal of Business Communication, 45(2), pp. 181-222, 10.1177/0021943607313993DOI: 10.1177/0021943607313993
  5. Beattie V., McInnes B. and Fearnly F. (2004), A methodology for analysing and evaluating narratives in annual reports: a comprehensive descriptive profile and metrics for disclosure quality attributes, Accounting Forum, 28(3), pp. 205-236, 10.1016/j.accfor.2004.07.001DOI: 10.1016/j.accfor.2004.07.001
  6. Berger P. (2011), Challenges and opportunities in disclosure research – A discussion of ‘the financial reporting environment: review of the literature, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 51(1-2), pp. 204-218, 10.1016/j.jacceco.2011.01.001DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2011.01.001
  7. Beyer A., Cohen D.A., Lys T.Z. and Walther B.R. (2010), The financial reporting environment: review of the recent literature, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 50(2-3), pp. 296-343, 10.1016/j.jacceco.2010.10.003DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2010.10.003
  8. Biber D., Johansson S., Leech G., Conrad S. and Finegan E. (1999), Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. (Essex: Longman.)
  9. Brown S., Hillegeist S.A. and Lo K. (2004), Conference calls and information asymmetry, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 37(3), pp. 343-366, 10.1016/j.jacceco.2004.02.001DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2004.02.001
  10. Bushee B.J., Matsumoto D. and Miller G.S. (2003), Open versus closed conference calls: the determinants and effects of broadening access to disclosure, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 34(1-3), pp. 149-180, 10.1016/S0165-4101(02)00073-3DOI: 10.1016/S0165-4101(02)00073-3
  11. Clatworthy M. and Jones M.J. (2003), Financial reporting of good news and bad news: Evidence from accounting narratives, Accounting and Business Research, 33(3), pp. 171-185, 10.1080/00014788.2003.9729645DOI: 10.1080/00014788.2003.9729645
  12. Collier B. and Wilson M. (1994), What does a graduate Need? Evidence from the careers and opinions of CFO’s, Financial Practice and Education, 4(2), pp. 59-65.
  13. Crawford Camiciottoli B. (2010), Earnings calls: exploring an emerging financial reporting genre, Discourse & Communication, 4(4), pp. 343-359, 10.1177/1750481310381681DOI: 10.1177/1750481310381681
  14. Crawford Camiciottoli B. (2009), ‘Just wondering if you could comment on that’: indirect requests for information in corporate earnings calls, Text & Talk, 29(6), pp. 661-681,, 10.1515/TEXT.2009.034DOI: 10.1515/TEXT.2009.034
  15. Den Hartog D.N. and Verburg R.M. (1997), Charisma and rhetoric: Communicative techniques of international business leaders, The Leadership Quarterly, 8(4), pp. 355-397, 10.1016/S1048-9843(97)90020-5DOI: 10.1016/S1048-9843(97)90020-5
  16. Ettredge M., Richardson V.J. and Scholz S. (2002), Dissemination of information for investors at corporate Web sites, Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, 21(4-5), pp. 357-369, 10.1016/S0278-4254(02)0006-2DOI: 10.1016/S0278-4254(02)0006-2
  17. Frankel R., Johnson, M. and Skinner D.J. (1999), An empirical examination of conference calls as a voluntary disclosure medium, Journal of Accounting Research, 37(1), pp. 133-150, 10.2307/2491400DOI: 10.2307/2491400
  18. Gray F.E. (2010), Specific oral communication skills desired in new accountancy graduates, Business Communication Quarterly, 73(1), pp. 40-67, 10.1177/1080569909356350DOI: 10.1177/1080569909356350
  19. Grosse C.U. (2004), English business communication needs of Mexican executives in a distance-learning class, Business Communication Quarterly, 61(1), pp. 7-23, 10.1177/1080569903261840DOI: 10.1177/1080569903261840
  20. Hart M.B. (1983), Integrating office technology and procedures into business communications courses, Business Communication Quarterly, 46(4), pp. 34-37, 10.1177/108056998304600411DOI: 10.1177/108056998304600411
  21. Healy P.A. and Papelu K. (2002) Information asymmetry, corporate disclosure and the capital markets: A review of the empirical disclosure literature, SSN Working Paper Series, JAE Rochester Conference April 2000. Rochester, NY: SSRN, Available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=258514&rec=1&srcabs=236590, Retrieved October 30, 2011.
  22. Hyland K. (2005), Metadiscourse. Exploring Interaction in Writing. (London: Continuum).
  23. Hyland K. (1998), Exploring corporate rhetoric: Metadiscourse in the CEO’s letter, Journal of Business Communication, 35(4), pp. 224-245, 10.1177/002194369803500203DOI: 10.1177/002194369803500203
  24. Jones D. (2008), Democratizing the earnings call, IR Web Report (2008, January 23), Available at http://irwebreport.com/20080123/democratizing-the-earnings-call/, Retrieved June 14, 2009
  25. Larcker D.F. and Zakolyukina A.A. (2010), Detecting deceptive discussions in conference calls, (Working Paper No. 83), Stanford Graduate School of Business and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance, Available at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/ papers.cfm?abstract_id=1572705, Retrieved January, 24 2011
  26. Laskin A.V. (2009), A descriptive account of the investor relations profession. A national study, Journal of Business Communication, 46(2), pp. 208-233, 10.1177/0021943608328078DOI: 10.1177/0021943608328078
  27. Li F. (2008), Annual report readability, current earnings, and earnings persistence, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 45(2-3), pp. 221-247, 10.1016/j.jacceco.2008.02.003DOI: 10.1016/j.jacceco.2008.02.003
  28. Loughran T., McDonald B. and Yun H. (2009), A wolf in sheep’s clothing: The use of ethics-related terms in 10-K reports, Journal of Business Ethics, 89(1), pp. 39-49, 10.1007/S10551-008-9910-1DOI: 10.1007/S10551-008-9910-1
  29. Marston C. (2004), A Survey of European Investor Relations. (Edinburgh: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland)
  30. Matsumoto D.A., Roelofsen E., and Pronk M. (2006), Managerial disclosure vs. analyst inquiry: an empirical investigation of the presentation and discussion portions of earnings- related conference calls, Available at http://ssrn.com/abstract=943928, Retrieved April 7, 2011.
  31. McCloskey D. (1992), The rhetoric of finance in P. Newman, M. Milgate and J. Eatwell (Eds) The New Palgrave Dictionary of Money and Finance, pp. 350-352, (New York: Palgrave).
  32. Rayson P. (2008), From key words to key semantic domains, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, 13(4), pp. 519-549, 10.1075/ijcl.13.4.06rayDOI: 10.1075/ijcl.13.4.06ray
  33. Roelofsen E. (2010), The role of analyst conference calls in capital markets, Ph.D. Dissertation, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, Netherlands, Available at http://publishing. eur.nl/ir/repub/asset/18013/EPS2010190FA9789058922281Roelofsen.pdf, Retrieved March 30, 2010
  34. Scott M. (2010), Wordsmith Tools Version 5.0. (Oxford: Oxford University Press).
  35. Sheehan B. (2005), Europe switches to US-style disclosure rules, Global Finance, 19(3), pp. 18-19
  36. Skinner D.E. (2003), Should firms disclose everything to everybody? A discussion of “Open versus closed conference calls: the determinants and effects of broadening access to disclosure”, Journal of Accounting and Economics, 34(1-3), pp. 181-187.
  37. Tasker S.C. (1998a), Technology company conference calls: a small sample study, Journal of Financial Statement Analysis, 4(1), pp. 6-14.
  38. Tasker S.C. (1998b), Bridging the information gap: Quarterly conference calls as a medium for voluntary disclosure, Review of Accounting Studies, 3(1-2), pp. 137-167, 10.1023/A:1009684502135DOI: 10.1023/A:1009684502135
  39. Warren M. (2004), //Ê so what have YOU been WORKing on REcently//: Compiling a specialized corpus of spoken business English in U. Connor and T. A. Upton (Eds) Discourse in the Professions. Perspectives from Corpus Linguistics, pp. 115-40 (Amsterdam/Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamins).
  40. Williams C.C. (2008), Towards a taxonomy of corporate reporting strategies, Journal of Business Communication, 45(3), pp. 232-264, 10.1177/0021943608317520.DOI: 10.1177/0021943608317520.
  41. Zhao J.J. and Alexander M.W. (2004), The impact of business communication education on students’ short- and long-term performances, Business Communication Quarterly, 67(1), pp. 24-40, 10.1177/1080569903261995DOI: 10.1177/1080569903261995

Belinda Crawford Camiciottoli, in "FINANCIAL REPORTING" 4/2012, pp. 15-34, DOI:10.3280/FR2012-004003

   

FrancoAngeli è membro della Publishers International Linking Association associazione indipendente e no profit per facilitare l'accesso degli studiosi ai contenuti digitali nelle pubblicazioni professionali e scientifiche