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Do banks accumulate a higher level of intellectual capital? Evidence from an emerging market

Ngoc Phu Tran (Business and Economics Research Group, Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)
Duc Hong Vo (Business and Economics Research Group, Ho Chi Minh City Open University, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 3 November 2020

Issue publication date: 8 February 2022

433

Abstract

Purpose

In developed countries, banks are perceived to accumulate a higher level of intellectual capital than firms in other sectors. However, this perception has not been considered or tested in the context of an emerging market such as Vietnam, which has one of the most dynamic economies in the Asian region. This study estimates and compares the level of accumulation of intellectual capital and its four components by financial and nonfinancial firms in Vietnam. Furthermore, this study examines the relationship between intellectual capital and its components and the performance of financial and nonfinancial firms.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses data collected from the annual reports of 75 financial and 75 nonfinancial firms in Vietnam from 2011 to 2018. A modified value-added intellectual coefficient model is adopted to measure the level of intellectual capital at firms. Various aspects of intellectual capital are considered, including the efficiency of human capital, structural capital, capital employed and relational capital. In addition, the generalized method of moments is used to ensure the robustness of the findings.

Findings

Findings in this study indicate that financial firms in Vietnam have accumulated a higher level of intellectual capital than nonfinancial firms. In addition, intellectual capital contributes positively to financial firms' performance. Three components of intellectual capital – structural capital efficiency, capital employed efficiency and relational capital efficiency – positively affect performance by financial firms.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to financial and nonfinancial firms in Vietnam. Empirical studies in the future should incorporate the efficiency aspects of these types of firms because different industries might have different characteristics, in particular, their current efficiency level, which might cause differences in relation to the accumulation of intellectual capital.

Practical implications

The findings of this study provide valuable evidence and implications for executives and policymakers in creating, managing and enhancing intellectual capital within the Vietnamese context, in particular in the financial sector.

Originality/value

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first empirical study conducted in the context of Vietnam, with the following two objectives: (1) to measure and compare the level of accumulation of intellectual capital by financial and nonfinancial firms in Vietnam; and (2) to examine the contribution of intellectual capital and its components to the performance by financial and nonfinancial firms in Vietnam.

Keywords

Citation

Tran, N.P. and Vo, D.H. (2022), "Do banks accumulate a higher level of intellectual capital? Evidence from an emerging market", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 439-457. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-03-2020-0097

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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