Purpose – The paper seeks to assess the risk reporting practices across two European
Latin countries (Portugal and Spain). Moreover, drawn on elements of agency,
legitimacy, resources-based perspectives, and institutional theory this study also intends
to assess if the influence of corporate governance mechanisms on risk reporting is
mediated by strategic/institutional legitimacy interests.
Design/methodology/approach – From a sample of 60 non-finance Portuguese and
Spanish companies with securities traded on the Euronext Lisbon stock exchange
market and on the Madrid stock exchange market, respectively, at December, 2011, the
Corporate Governance reports and the “risk/risk management” sections of the
Management reports included on consolidated annual reports for 2011 were manually
content analyzed, according to prior literature. Further, multiple linear regressions were
used to assess the potential relationships between corporate governance mechanisms
and risk reporting.
Findings – Results indicate that visible companies, operating in a country with a
weaker legal environment, and during periods of financial distress disclose more
discretionary RRD, basically to contextualize their negative outcomes. Some corporate
governance mechanisms were crucial to improve risk information.
Originality – The paper goes beyond prior literature work and assesses if the theoretical
framework grounded on agency, legitimacy, resources-based perspective, and
institutional theory is suitable in explaining RRD in an under-researched setting
(European Latin countries, such as Portugal and Spain with low agency costs and
different corporate governance models). Moreover, the analysis embraces a wider and
homogeneous range of internal and external corporate governance mechanisms and uses
a period in which both countries were severely affected by a sovereign debt crisis with
negative impacts on company’s liquidity and financial risks. A research setting like this
has not been studied hitherto.