In this exploratory study, a series of interviews with analysts and firm executives, supplemented with an analysis of annual report disclosures, is used to provide insights into the research and development (R&D) disclosure environment within which technology‐intensive firms operate. The interviews cover questions of interest to both professional and academic accounting audiences, including the types of R&D information which firms reveal and analysts use, managers' concerns with revealing proprietary or bad news R&D information, the potential benefits from effective R&D disclosure management, and views on deferring vs. expensing development expenditures. The content analysis provides a description of the quantity, subject matter, and location of the R&D disclosures contained in 113 Toronto Stock Exchange‐listed firms' annual reports. Finally, the regression analysis explores the association between six disclosure environment factors (R&D expense proportion, accounting policy for development expenditures, [cross‐] listing status, industry, capital structure, and firm size) and the amount of R&D disclosure firms provide.

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