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Understanding the impact of intellectual capital on entrepreneurship: a literature review

Antonio Crupi (Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Institute of Management and Department EMbeDS, Pisa, Italy)
Fabrizio Cesaroni (Universita degli Studi di Messina, Messina, Italy)
Alberto Di Minin (Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Institute of Management and Department EMbeDS, Pisa, Italy)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 18 August 2020

Issue publication date: 27 April 2021

520

Abstract

Purpose

The present paper aims to explore and map the development of the intellectual capital (IC)-related studies by answering the following research questions: (1) what are the theoretical pillars on which prior literature focusing on the IC–entrepreneurship relationship has grown and expanded?; (2) what are the main research areas covered by past literature focused on the IC–entrepreneurship relationship?; (3) which areas of research should be explored in the future?

Design/methodology/approach

The study relied on the co-citation analysis and bibliographic coupling techniques to investigate a complete data set of IC–entrepreneurship publications.

Findings

Findings indicated that scholars' attention had increased, starting from the beginning of the 2000s due to the widespread recognition of the importance of knowledge for firms' competitive advantage. Results of the co-citation clustering analysis have identified five main theoretical building blocks of the IC–entrepreneurship literature, which addressed both the basics of IC foundations and more specific aspects related to IC (family firms and the measurement of IC). Results of the bibliographic coupling analysis indicated that future studies should consider the existence of interactions and synergies among the different components of IC. Furthermore, attention should be devoted to the management practices of IC.

Originality/value

The present study represents the contributions offered by IC to studies about entrepreneurship strategies. Building on findings emerging from a qualitative content analysis on clustered prior publications, the authors discuss a research agenda that is expected to inspire future studies to continue the exploration of the crucial characteristics of IC in contributing to entrepreneurial and managerial studies.

Keywords

Citation

Crupi, A., Cesaroni, F. and Di Minin, A. (2021), "Understanding the impact of intellectual capital on entrepreneurship: a literature review", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 528-559. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-02-2020-0054

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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