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Intellectual capital: a Habermasian introduction

David O’Donnell (University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland)
Philip O’Regan (University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland)
Brian Coates (University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 1 June 2000



Intellectual capital creation is theorised in this conceptual paper as a dynamic process of collective knowing that is capable of being leveraged into market value. The tacit, intangible and socially unconscious nature of substantive parts of this dynamic process presents some daunting theoretical challenges. Adopting a broadly social constructionist epistemology and a pluralist ontology, the point of departure introduced here is the set of symmetric and reciprocal relations presupposed in Jürgen Habermas’ theory of communicative action. In this worldview, interaction, as distinct from individual action, becomes the germ‐cell or basic unit of theoretical analysis. The relations and validity claims built into the medium of communicative action, viewed here as the nexus of intellectual capital creation, are substantive and real phenomena; they are thus open to empirical investigation.



O’Donnell, D., O’Regan, P. and Coates, B. (2000), "Intellectual capital: a Habermasian introduction", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp. 187-200.




Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

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