Though intellectual capital (IC) has received much attention for more than a decade, there is a lack of consensus on its components and definition. IC is a multi‐disciplinary concept and the understanding of it varies across different business‐related disciplines. This paper seeks to propose a grouping of IC items based on empirical evidence in the form of managers' responses to questions about the availability of information about IC inside their companies.
A postal questionnaire was implemented across 520 companies listed on the main board of Bursa Malaysia. The empirical grouping of IC derived by factor analysis is compared with a priori groupings constructed from the IC literature.
It is found that the conventional three a priori categories – namely human capital, customer capital and structural capital – expand into eight facets. Nevertheless, there is remarkable consistency between literature‐based expectations and empirical groupings.
The paper takes a broad scope perspective and in this rapidly evolving field, is based on information in place in 2005. In addition, the usual limitations of postal questionnaire surveys apply. Extension of this research approach to other cultures may reveal a different set of groupings and such research is encouraged.
Managers and designers of information systems may use the findings as a benchmark against which to evaluate their own systems or proposals. More significantly, the eight‐factor model facilitates conceptualisation, measurement and management of IC and the preparation of IC reports.
This evidence‐based confirmation of the broad three‐category model, together with the empirical identification of more detailed facets, makes a contribution to the as yet largely normative literature on the classification of the components of intellectual capital.
Choo Huang, C., Luther, R. and Tayles, M. (2007), "An evidence‐based taxonomy of intellectual capital", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 386-408. https://doi.org/10.1108/14691930710774830Download as .RIS
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