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Multilevel approaches to advancing the measurement of intellectual capital research field–What can we learn from the literature?

João J.M. Ferreira (Department of Management and Economics, NECE ‐ Research Unit in Business Sciences, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI), Covilha, Portugal)
Cristina Fernandes (Department of Management and Economics, NECE ‐ Research Unit in Business Sciences, Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas, Universidade da Beira Interior (UBI), Covilha, Portugal)
Pedro Veiga (NECE ‐ Research Unit in Business Sciences, UBI and Instituto Politecnico de Viseu, Viseu, Portugal)

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Article publication date: 3 December 2020

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to provide a broad ranging review that identifies, summarises and integrates the different multi-level approaches contributing to advances in research on measuring IC. This furthermore sets out and highlights an agenda for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

Deploying a systematic and thorough review of the literature, the authors were able to identify 60 articles and identify the main theories applied and the respective methodological orientations of these articles across three levels of analysis: micro, meso and macro.

Findings

The study's findings suggest that the literature on measuring IC has approached the theme across three different levels –micro, meso and macro. In addition, the results enable the identification of seven dimensions to IC: competitive advantage, economic value generated, resources and capacities, corporate governance, IC components, innovation management and the dissemination of IC.

Research limitations/implications

The mixed-methods approach, which combines a traditional systematic literature review with ontological thematic analysis, casts light on the core aspects that led to the identification of a new approach in the academic literature on measuring IC.

Practical implications

This study puts forward a holistic model with measurements for IC across the three levels of analysis as well as the respective criteria for choosing the variables.

Originality/value

This study represents a first attempt to analyse the emerging literature on IC measurement through a multi-level approach; integrating and extracting the potential theoretical contributions in this field of knowledge; proposing an integrated model as well as a theoretically relevant and innovative research agenda that opens up paths to future research projects.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This work is financed by national funds through FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I. P., under the project “UIDB/04630/2020”.

Citation

Ferreira, J.J.M., Fernandes, C. and Veiga, P. (2020), "Multilevel approaches to advancing the measurement of intellectual capital research field–What can we learn from the literature?", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JIC-07-2020-0221

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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