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Intellectual capital: recognizing both assets and liabilities

Ian Caddy (University of Western Sydney, Nepean, Kingswood, Australia)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



Contends that the current treatment of intellectual capital possessed by organizations (either knowledge intensive or otherwise) has been somewhat superficial. For instance, the terms “intellectual” assets and “intangible” assets have often been used interchangeably, although a case can be made that there are differences between these two groups of assets. To date there has been too much focus on intellectual assets – and to some extent an implied equivalence between intellectual assets and intellectual capital. Considers the issue of the other factor within the intellectual capital equation, namely, intellectual liabilities. For if double entry is to apply in the area of intellectual capital then with every debit (in the sense of a building up) there should also be allowed the possibility of a credit (in the sense of a reducing down). In fact intellectual capital is more appropriately derived as a net figure (subtracting intellectual liabilities from intellectual assets) rather than a mere summation of the organization’s identified intellectual assets. Whether or not actual absolute values can be derived is also considered questionable.



Caddy, I. (2000), "Intellectual capital: recognizing both assets and liabilities", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 129-146.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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