Experts or rivals: Mimicry and voluntary disclosure Articles uri icon

publication date

  • April 2017

start page

  • 46

end page

  • 54


  • 73

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0148-2963

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1873-7978


  • This study explores the effect of firm experience and competition on individual firms' motivation to imitate the voluntary disclosure practices of reference firms in product markets. Using Spain's newspaper industry from 1966 to 1993, the empirical findings show that the more experienced firms are, the less likely they are to imitate the disclosure practices of other better-informed organizations. Likewise, more experienced firms show a lower propensity to follow the disclosure practices adopted by the firms on their business segment. By contrast, firms operating in more competitive markets have greater incentives to mimic the disclosure behavior of rival organizations. This article concludes that firm experience and the degree of competition in the market are likely to moderate a firm's incentives to imitate the voluntary disclosure practices of other organizations. Furthermore, the results indicate that the effects of these two factors are not mutually exclusive but rather complementary. (C) 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


  • imitation; experience; competition; voluntary disclosure; newspaper; interorganizational imitation; discretionary disclosure; firms imitate; industry; sustainability; consequences; determinants; motivations; performance; diffusion