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Intellectual capital and business model: a systematic literature review to explore their linkages

Gabriele Baima (Department of Management, University of Torino, Torino, Italy)
Canio Forliano (Department of Political Science and International Relations, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy)
Gabriele Santoro (Department of Management, University of Torino, Torino, Italy)
Demetris Vrontis (School of Business, University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 16 October 2020

Issue publication date: 27 April 2021




In the last decades, business and management scholars have given great attention to intellectual capital (IC), which could seem a mature topic, having arrived at its third wave of studies. However, its intersections with the business model (BM) remain an under-investigated topic, and the authors wanted to investigate two research questions (RQs): how the literature addressing IC and BM has evolved so far in the business and management domains? What are possible future research trends of business and management studies regarding IC and BM?


This study answers these questions through a systematic literature review (SLR) of 74 peer-reviewed articles in the area of business and management. First, a bibliometric analysis was conducted to evaluate what is the current trend of such publications and what are the most relevant articles, authors, countries and journals. Then, a content analysis was performed to aggregate and systematize the results and identify future lines of research.


Results show that most of the studies conducted to date are focused on the aspects of value creation and value capture, with a primary focus on investigating the relationship between IC and firms' performances (e.g. economic, financial and organizational).


The relationship between IC and BM has been quite neglected by the literature, or at least it leaves room for further research lines. For example, little is known about how firms use the various IC assets to leverage new forms of value proposition, new target markets or new sources of revenues. This is one of the first papers systematizing the current body of knowledge on this topic and drawing future lines of research.



Baima, G., Forliano, C., Santoro, G. and Vrontis, D. (2021), "Intellectual capital and business model: a systematic literature review to explore their linkages", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 653-679.



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