IR Papers: Investor relations self-help

Aug 13, 2012
<p>A roundup of academic research from the world of IR studies</p>

Is your company ‘emerging’? Then Investor relations for the emerging company by Ralph Rieves may just be the holiday reading you’ve been craving. The second edition hits the shelves on Christmas Eve.

In the meantime, you can fill the waiting time with The investor relations guidebook, by Steven Bragg, who has written more than 50 books, mostly about accounting.

He is also a certified master diver and avid alpine skier who lives in Colorado. He seems to have it figured out.

If governance is more your area, you’re in luck: a new 574-page volume, Corporate governance and initial public offerings: an international perspective, by Alessandro Zattoni and William Judge, covers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about corporate governance and IPOs around the world.

If you ever wondered whether ‘maximize shareholder value’ was an incoherent and counterproductive business concept, then pick up The shareholder value myth: how putting shareholders first harms investors, corporations and the public by Lynn Stout.

She’s very smart and says it results in ‘sociopathic and socially irresponsible behavior’.

Finally, for corporate survivalists, there’s In the shadow of the dragon by John Downs, a meticulously researched exposé of our future overlords in China.

Through interviews and case studies, the book provides insights into their ‘subtle yet powerful strategies used to gain market dominance’.

Environmental news

Greenhouse gas emission disclosure produces positive shareholder returns, say University of California researchers. Charting voluntary disclosures made through the Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire, they find the share price effect particularly strong for smaller companies, which typically see increases of 2.3 percent in the period spanning three days before and three days after the CSR Newswire release date.

A Duke University study of large caps finds little market reaction to individual company announcements of actions or investments relating to climate issues. Researchers did however find positive market reaction when these companies announced participation in US Climate Action Partnership (USCAP). This result, they conclude, implies ‘collective action among corporate leaders does not only have the potential to benefit society in combating climate change, but also to directly create shareholder value.’

Some companies strive to project a virtuous image assuming it will deter public attacks by activist groups. However, a Northwestern University study suggests such efforts may actually make firms more vulnerable. Using data on corporate boycotts, study authors argue the higher the reputation for social responsibility, the harder the fall following incongruent behavior. – The more women and independent board members, the more forthcoming Australian companies are about environmental information, according to research published in Corporate Governance.

None of Serbia’s top 20 companies has a dedicated IR web page, according to analysis by investigators at Megatrend University in Belgrade. They also document a similar total absence of CSR data.

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