ABSTRACT

Managers expend significant time and effort preparing disclosures about firm performance and strategy. Although prior literature has explored how variation in the style and presentation of disclosures impacts investors' perceptions of firms, little is known about how firms actually create these disclosures and how this process impacts presentation. Based on field data collected from nearly 200 firms, we show that there is considerable variation in who prepares disclosures, when they are prepared, and the amount of effort expended by different types of managers (e.g., legal, public relations/marketing, finance, investor relations, senior leadership). We find that these differences in organizational processes are associated with differences in the structure, style, and tone of 10-Ks and conference calls. Ultimately, our investigation begins to illuminate how individual managerial efforts vary across firms and contribute to differences in public disclosures.

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