The aim of this paper is to help to address the need for empirical investigations on intellectual capital and intellectual liabilities “in action” and their consequences in terms of value creation and value destruction. In light of this consideration, this study aims to investigate if and how intellectual capital and intellectual liabilities influence the value creation and destruction processes, that is, if intellectual liabilities “in action” simply mirror intellectual capital dynamics or if they present some specificities.
A multiple case study method is adopted in order to understand intellectual capital and intellectual liabilities “in action”.
This study highlights the relevance of intellectual liabilities within the intellectual capital discourse. In particular, it shows that intellectual capital and intellectual liabilities affect the value creation process in different ways. Moreover, it emerges that intellectual liabilities tend to be left out of managerial discussions. Stemming from this, the idea of intellectual equity is proposed and conceived as the logical difference between intellectual capital and intellectual liabilities.
The main limitations of this study are twofold. The first is related to the methodology adopted and in particular to the qualitative mapping process developed. The second is the fact that the constructs to analyse were not indicated by the firms but by the author in order to make the results comparable.
This study contributes to the development of the literature on “intellectual capital in action” and “intellectual capital in practice” bringing in the idea of intellectual liabilities and the consideration that intellectual capital can create, but also destroy, value. Moreover, it highlights the need to monitor and manage intellectual liabilities in order to control the negative effects generated by intellectual capital. Therefore, this analysis has both theoretical and practical implications.
In comparison to the extant literature mentioned, this study does not analyse IC only in terms of value creation, but also in terms of value destruction. Moreover, instead of proposing and developing new concepts, methods and tools, this research investigates intellectual liabilities “in action”. In addition, this work jointly considers value creation and value destruction processes.
Giuliani, M. (2013), "Not all sunshine and roses: discovering intellectual liabilities “in action”", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 127-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/14691931311289057Download as .RIS
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