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Intellectual capital and university performance in emerging countries: Evidence from Colombian public universities

Livio Cricelli (University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy)
Marco Greco (Department of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy)
Michele Grimaldi (University of Cassino and Southern Lazio, Cassino, Italy)
Leidy Paola Llanes Dueñas (Department of General Economics, Universidad de Cadiz, Cadiz, Spain)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 8 January 2018




The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationship between intellectual capital (IC) and performance of public universities in emerging countries in order to identify patterns and provide recommendations that may turn the universities’ IC into development opportunities, in terms of research, innovation, and education.


The analysis targeted the whole population of the public universities in the Republic of Colombia. A cluster analysis, based on five performance variables, has been conducted. Then, the IC of the universities pertaining to the three resulting clusters has been compared. Subsequently, for each performance variable, the IC of above-average and below-average universities has been benchmarked.


The results of this study show how different aspects of IC are associated with University performance. Among the many, the authors found that universities should achieve a critical mass to obtain outstanding research and innovation results. The findings also identify the particular importance of both students and scholars’ international mobility programs for most of the performance variables.

Social implications

This study provides a baseline for the assessment of the impact on society of the IC available in the universities of emerging countries. The application may serve as a guide in the choice of public policies, dedicated to the strengthening of the universities’ IC in order to improve their performance.


This paper proposes an innovative model to analyze the relationship between IC and university performance in emerging countries. The model identifies the association between the IC accrued in the universities and their capability of transferring it to the society under the form of science, innovation, and education.



Cricelli, L., Greco, M., Grimaldi, M. and Llanes Dueñas, L.P. (2018), "Intellectual capital and university performance in emerging countries: Evidence from Colombian public universities", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 19 No. 1, pp. 71-95.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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