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Theory and method on intellectual capital creation: Addressing communicative action through relative methodics

David O'Donnell (The Intellectual Capital Research Institute of Ireland, Ballyagran, Ireland)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 1 June 2004

Abstract

Intellectual capital is a diverse and multidisciplinary field where there is much scope for interdisciplinary research. Such interdisciplinarity demands that we first transcend boundaries between IC researchers and disciplines and then transcend any subsequently perceived ontological and/or methodological barriers. Moving from the particular to the general, this paper draws on the contours of the Habermasian communicative relation to present some theoretical insights on how intellectual capital is created linguistically in social space. The ontological and methodological implications of this particular approach to research lead to the general argument for adopting a “relative view” on both ontology and methodology in order to craft navigational routes into interdisciplinary social space in the IC field. Such an approach allows IC researchers to draw on extant, and seemingly incommensurable, methodologies and techniques from analytical positivism, systems theory and the hermeneutic tradition in a scientifically justifiable post‐foundationalist manner.

Keywords

Citation

O'Donnell, D. (2004), "Theory and method on intellectual capital creation: Addressing communicative action through relative methodics", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 294-311. https://doi.org/10.1108/14691930410533713

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited