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Relationship transparency for partnership enhancement: an intellectual capital perspective

Hwan‐Yann Su (Department of Asia‐Pacific Industrial and Business Management, National University of Kaohsiung, Kaohsiung, Taiwan)
Shih‐Chieh Fang (Department of Business Administration, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan)
Chaur‐Shiuh Young (Department of Accountancy and Graduate Institute of Finance & Banking, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan)

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing

ISSN: 0885-8624

Article publication date: 2 August 2011




The purpose of this article is to explore and illustrate how intellectual capital transparency through intellectual capital reporting can enable relationship transparency and enhance partnership.


A case study research method is adopted to explore and illustrate the key research issues on a single case.


Three elements of intellectual capital transparency specific for the enhancement of business‐to‐business partnerships are proposed: the transparency of a focal business vision, value proposition, strategies and supportive knowledge resources; the transparency of information perceived as being relevant by its partners; and the transparency of relationship atmosphere. Intellectual capital transparency through the suggested intellectual capital reporting framework is very suitable for enabling holistic understanding of and enhancing partnership.

Practical implications

Businesses may benefit from making transparent their intellectual capital information to key partners because this strategy demonstrates honesty, sincerity and professionalism, aside from enabling the transparency of their totality and relationship atmosphere. With no legal obligation, transparency of intellectual capital information should be highly valued by partners, because this enables partners to more fully understand their relationships and how they can benefit from them as well as demonstrating willingness to honestly face facts and keep important indicators on track. As a result, partners should be more satisfied with their partnerships, and more willing to continue and enhance them.


This study proposes and illustrates how intellectual capital transparency can be used for partnership enhancement through combining limited research on relationship transparency with intellectual capital theories and thus extends the extant relationship transparency literature.



Su, H., Fang, S. and Young, C. (2011), "Relationship transparency for partnership enhancement: an intellectual capital perspective", Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, Vol. 26 No. 6, pp. 456-468.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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