Purpose - This paper investigates the intellectual capital disclosure trends and disclosure category differences of top 20 listed firms in a developing nation, Sri Lanka, and moderately developed nation, Singapore. The aim of this study is to highlight the differences in IC disclosure practice between developing and developed nations.
Design/methodology/approach - The study investigates the top 20 firms by market capitalization listed on the Colombo stock exchange in 1998 to 2000. Using the content analysis method, it reviews the annual reports of these firms to determine intellectual capital disclosure trends in Sri Lanka. It then compares these findings with a similar unpublished study undertaken in Singapore during the same period (Cheng, Fok & Low, 2002).
Findings – The study identified IC disclosure differences between Sri Lankan and Singapore firms, and suggest reasons for differences from country perspectives. The paper highlights the need for a uniform methodology in intellectual disclosure framework to establish consistent disclosure practices.
Practical implications - This study highlights the need to establish a uniform methodology for financial disclosure under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) that can mobilize globally uniform disclosure intellectual capital disclosure practices.
Originality/value –This study offers insights into comparative trends in intellectual capital disclosure practices between a moderately developed and a developing country.