Date of Submission



Intellectual capital (IC), including its components of human resource capital (HRC) and relational capital (RC), is important to leverage tangible corporate assets. This research is conducted from a human resource perspective and refers to behavioural economic theories to explain its findings. There are four research aims which include: (1) to investigate perceptions of mum and dad" shareholders about information on HRC and RC dimensions; (2) to understand the sources of advice individual investors turn to in their stock transaction decisions; (3) to determine if, in the corporate annual reports of Australian banking sector corporations (ABSC), HRC and RC information is provided to investors; and (4) to assess the relationship between the HRC and RC disclosure and share value. Dimensions of HRC include employee recruitment, retention, values, development of management and leadership qualities, and developing employee problem solving skills. Dimensions of RC include customer capital, supplier chain relations, and competitors. The ABSC investigated include the eight ASX 200 listed corporations at the end of the 2006/2007 financial year. These include the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), Westpac Banking Corporation (WBC), National Australia Bank (NAB) and ANZ Banking Group Ltd (ANZ). The research involved an initial pilot study and a two-part main study. The pilot study involved both quantitative and qualitative analysis. It was designed to validate a tool to measure perceptions of individual ABSC shareholders, regarding relevance of HRC and RC policy information to ABSC stock purchase decisions. The pilot study was conducted to develop operational definitions of HRC and RC and of their dimensions, and, to establish statistical validity and reliability of items for use in the main study. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was applied to validate policy statement items within the final questionnaire, to properly measure the five dimensions of HRC and three dimensions of RC, for measuring perceptions of ABSC shareholders. Perceptions relate to relevance of HRC and RC policy information to ABSC stock purchase decisions. Questionnaire items were determined to be reliable and valid and retained for use in the main study. The main study is an empirical study investigating perceptions of importance of "mum and dad" ABSC shareholders of HRC and RC dimensions and the impact of perceptions, sources of advice, and demographic variables on ABSC stock decisions. The ABSC investigated are those identified in the pilot study. Various statistical tests (One-way ANOVA, Bonferroni test, T-test, logistic regression, discriminatory analysis) were conducted on data from the main study questionnaire. The main study also investigates, empirically, the frequency and quality of HRC and RC disclosure by ABSC, and whether disclosure leads to appreciation of share price for the relevant ABSC. A focus group was conducted for thematic content analysis of ABSC corporate annual reports, comparative analysis was conducted on the output of that content analysis, and a cumulative abnormal return (CAR) analysis was conducted, based on content analysis results and on share price information for relevant ABSC in their reporting periods. The research finds "mum and dad" shareholders of NAB stocks value all HRC and RC dimensions information more than shareholders of the others of the big four ABSC do. They believe customer capital and supplier chain relations dimensions to be more important than shareholders of ANZ stocks believe them to be in ABSC stock purchase decisions.;The research finds "mum and dad" shareholders of solely NAB stock value HRC and RC information because it is not perceived to be adequately available in the NAB corporate annual report, and shareholders of multiple ABSC, including the NAB, place less value on the information. Employee recruitment is found to be important to "mum and dad" shareholders in their decisions to "buy" rather than to "hold" or "sell" ABSC stocks. "Family and friends" is found to moderate the relationship between perceptions and use of HRC and RC dimensions when deciding whether or not to hold ABSC stocks. Finally, HRC and RC dimensions disclosure is significantly varied between ABSC. The CBA, recognised as Money Magazine's "Bank of the year 2008", has the best quality of HRC and RC disclosure. This research is significant because it provides stakeholders, within academic and commercial environments: (1) a list of HRC and RC dimensions and their operational definitions as influenced by "lay persons" understandings; (2) a tool to measure ABSC shareholder perceptions (questionnaire); and (3) research focused specifically on gaining insight into perceptions of "mum and dad" shareholders of ABSC stocks regarding HRC and RC elements of IC. This research builds previous work and encourages future research to investigate HRC and RC disclosure practices of other knowledge intensive corporations, not just the ABSC."

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


401 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Arts and Sciences