Theories and Determinants of Voluntary Disclosure

Nermeen Fathy Shehata


This paper aims to discuss the theoretical aspects of voluntary disclosure in terms of its role in the economy, the theories that are usually used through the literature to explain voluntary disclosure, its determinants, and the common sources of voluntary information disclosure. Theories related to voluntary disclosure that are commonly used through the literature include agency theory, signalling theory, capital need theory, and legitimacy theory. Determinants of voluntary disclosure fall into motivations and constraints. Finally, different sources of voluntary information disclosure are addressed clarifying why the annual reports are the most preferred source of information. The paper provides a snapshot to different parties interested in voluntary disclosure including academics and practitioners. Academics would use this paper while designing empirical voluntary disclosure research. Practitioners could probably better understand companies' behaviours towards increased or decreased voluntary information disclosure.

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Accounting and Finance Research
ISSN 1927-5986 (Print)   ISSN 1927-5994 (Online) Email:

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