Perceptions and Attitudes toward Corporate Website Presence and its Use in Investor Relations in the Jordanian Context
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This study reports the results of semi-structured interviews conducted to explore the factors affecting Jordanian listed firms' decisions on whether or not to have a corporate website and, if so, whether or not to use it in investor relations activities. Corporate interviewees noted that the decision to have an online presence was motivated by a desire to enhance the company's image and reputation, and the need to re-brand the company was often a key event triggering website adoption. Particularly important here were international influences, whether international partners, shareholders or competitors. However, in all cases, top management support was essential and played a key role in influencing the ways in which companies use their website both in general and for investor relations activities in particular. Results also revealed that the key factor explaining the lack of a corporate website was the attitude or belief of management. Of key importance was their belief that stakeholders, including Jordanian stock market participants, are not yet ready or willing to use the internet to acquire information about the company. Some interviewees similarly concluded that there is no demand for investor relations information on corporate websites because the Jordanian Securities Commission publishes all listed companies' annual reports on its own website. Other factors explaining the lack of a corporate website were management change, absence of competition and having been listed on the Jordanian stock exchange for a long period. This research extends our understanding of disclosure on the internet by considering a different research setting, namely Jordan, and also by extending the theoretical framework used.