The importance of intellectual capital (IC), as a prime value driver in today's knowledge‐based economy, is undisputed. Benchmarking is seen as a tool for identifying, understanding, and adopting best practices in order to increase operational performance. The paper explores techniques of benchmarking the operational management of IC. The research is based on a longitudinal action and case research in an R&D organization. The failure to benchmark IC management practices between two seemingly identical subsidiaries has implications for the measurement and benchmarking of IC. The research concludes that it is critical to understand the context, organizational epistemology and value‐creation pathways before organizations start any attempt to compare or benchmark IC.
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