Risk disclosure in the annual reports of public companies
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- Master Thesis 
The management discussion and analysis section of a company’s annual report could be seen as an advertisement for the company. Here, management has the opportunity to communicate with stakeholders, such as investors and NGOs, and explain how the company is performing, risks faced, and what the future might look like. But does all companies utilize this opportunity? This thesis focuses on risk disclosure. The objective is to describe differences in how companies describe risk in the MD&A section. By using a qualitative methodology, an analysis of the risk disclosure in the annual reports of 33 Norwegian companies listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange is performed. The theoretical background for this analysis is found within the corporate communication theory, where theories about strategic intent, stakeholders, company image, and discourse theory are drawn upon. The main finding is that some companies have a clear strategic intent in how the commutate risk, while others do not. Those with a clear strategic intent try to improve the company’s image, so that it is seen as more responsible, sustainable, financially solid, etc. Companies with a clear strategic intent are also found to use a richer language compared to companies without a clear strategic intent when describing risk.