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Management consulting practice on intellectual capital: Editorial and introduction to special issue

Bernard Marr (Centre for Business Performance, Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 1 December 2005




With intellectual capital and intangible assets high on the agenda of executives around the world, and little practical evidence of good practice in measuring and managing these assets, there is a great need for help. This editorial to a special issue on the topic introduces the problem and highlights key issues. The special issue provides an overview of how management consulting companies acting in this space suggest tackling the problem. The purpose is therefore to bring together the approaches of different management consulting firms and to make their differences explicit.


All major general management consulting firms as well as specialist consulting firms focusing in the area of intellectual capital and intangible assets were directly invited to submit a paper for this special issue. The call for papers was also made publicly available in the journal and through e‐mail campaigns by Emerald. All submissions underwent a double‐blind refereed selection process.


Even though many submissions were received for this special issue, most of the authors were not able to demonstrate a sufficient understanding of the constructs nor were they able to justify the tools and methodologies developed. Reviewers were made aware of the practical background of many of the authors and it was ensured that sufficient and constructive feedback was provided. Even with various rounds of reviews many papers had to be rejected as they resembled marketing brochures rather then logical discussions. This unfortunately shows that there still is a massive skills gap in the industry and companies should be careful before they engage with any management consulting firm to help them measuring or managing their intangibles.

Practical implications

The focus of potential papers was not academic rigor (as opposed to the Special Issue Vol. 5 No 2) but the provision of an overview of the state of the art in intellectual capital consulting practice. The papers therefore provide practitioners with good insights into current practice.


This special issue is the first to bring together in a structured and rigorous format different management consulting approaches to the measurement and management of intellectual capital and intangible assets.



Marr, B. (2005), "Management consulting practice on intellectual capital: Editorial and introduction to special issue", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 6 No. 4, pp. 469-473.



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