Impression Management in Annual Report Narratives: The Case of the UK Private Finance Initiative

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Title: Impression Management in Annual Report Narratives: The Case of the UK Private Finance Initiative
Authors: Edgar, Victoria C.Beck, MatthiasBrennan, Niamh
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Date: 20-Aug-2018
Online since: 2020-12-14T12:41:25Z
Abstract: Purpose – The UK private finance initiative (PFI) public policy is heavily criticised. PFI contracts are highly profitable leading to incentives for PFI private-sector companies to support PFI public policy. This contested nature of PFIs requires legitimation by PFI private-sector companies, by means of impression management, in terms of the attention to and framing of PFI in PFI private-sector company annual reports. The paper examines this issue. Design/methodology/approach – PFI-related annual report narratives of three UK PFI private-sector companies, over seven years and across two periods of significant change in the development of the PFI public policy, are analysed using manual content analysis. Findings – Results suggest that PFI private-sector companies use impression management to legitimise during periods of uncertainty for PFI public policy, to alleviate concerns, to provide credibility for the policy and to legitimise the private sector’s own involvement in PFI. Research limitations/implications – While based on a sizeable database, the research is limited to the study of three PFI private-sector companies. Originality/value – Portrayal of public policy in annual report narratives has not been subject to prior research. The research demonstrates how managers of PFI private-sector companies present PFI narratives in support of public policy direction that, in turn, benefits PFI privatesector companies.
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Emerald
Journal: Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
Volume: 31
Issue: 6
Start page: 1566
End page: 1592
Copyright (published version): 2018 Emerald
Keywords: Annual report narrativesImpression managementLegitimacy theoryPrivate finance initiative
DOI: 10.1108/aaaj-10-2016-2733
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
ISSN: 0951-3574
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Appears in Collections:Business Research Collection

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