Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Business

First Advisor

Jonathan L. Rogers

Second Advisor

Sarah L. C. Zechman

Third Advisor

Yonca Ertimur

Fourth Advisor

Nathan Marshall

Fifth Advisor

Jeffrey Reuer

Abstract

I examine the role of information complexity in disclosure channel choice and its implications for market participants. Organizational communication theory suggests that because managers prefer efficient communication, they match underlying information complexity to internal communication channel richness (e.g. interaction, language variety and cues). Although external disclosures diverge from internal firm communication in important ways, I find evidence consistent with predictions from the management theory in the external quarterly reporting setting. Specifically, I find information complexity is associated with the allocation of information across the earnings announcement press release and conference call. The positive relation between complexity and richness is mitigated when managers have weakened preferences for (or ability to facilitate) communication efficiency. Moreover, placing complex information in lean channels is associated with slower price formation. The results are consistent with managers, on average, choosing disclosure channel to reduce the cost of processing their disclosures.

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