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Standard Intellectual Capital theory contains some key assumptions or practices that limit our view on the weightless wealth of companies. Discusses four of those…
Standard Intellectual Capital theory contains some key assumptions or practices that limit our view on the weightless wealth of companies. Discusses four of those practices: first, the tendency to limit the discussion about the weightless wealth of companies to intellectual means of production. Second, the use of classification schemas that break down the total capital of a company into its contributing parts. Third, the tendency to treat intangibles the same way we treat tangible assets, by trying to force them into the double‐entry bookkeeping system. Finally, the lack of suitable yardsticks that enable the user to judge whether measurements should be seen as too high or too low. For each of these practices an alternative is provided, based on a practical and fully tested methodology. Shows that it is still possible to enrich existing Intellectual Capital theory and make it more applicable in practice.
This paper raises the issue of research methodology for intellectual capital and other types of management research by focusing on the dilemma of rigour versus relevance…
This paper raises the issue of research methodology for intellectual capital and other types of management research by focusing on the dilemma of rigour versus relevance. The more traditional explanatory approach to research often leads to rigorous results that are not of much help to solve practical problems. This paper describes an alternative approach of practicing intellectual capital research as a design science. This approach is equally scientific but is able to develop management methods that helps to solve organisational problems. This paper shows strengths and weaknesses of both the approaches and concludes that combining both within the intellectual capital research community can help to reconcile the dilemma of rigour versus relevance.
The purpose of the paper is to start a dialogue about the differences between Western and Eastern cultures in the way they conceptualize knowledge, and to discuss the…
The purpose of the paper is to start a dialogue about the differences between Western and Eastern cultures in the way they conceptualize knowledge, and to discuss the implications of these differences for global intellectual capital (IC) theory and practice.
A systematic metaphor analysis of the concept of knowledge and IC is used to identify common Western conceptualizations of knowledge in the IC literature, and is combined with a review of philosophical knowledge conceptualizations in the main streams of Asian philosophy.
Basic differences were found in the way knowledge is conceptualized. In Western IC literature, common metaphors for knowledge include knowledge as a thing and knowledge as capital. In Asian thought, knowledge is seen as unfolding truth based upon a unity of universe and human self and of knowledge and action.
Western conceptualizations of knowledge, embedded in terms like intellectual capital and knowledge management, cannot be transferred to Asian business without considering the local view on knowledge. Asian conceptualizations of knowledge should play an important role in the further development of a knowledge‐based theory and practice of the firm.
Western IC theorists will have to be cautious of monopolizing their thesis as a universal theory of IC. There is a need for cultural differentiation also regarding IC, as the conceptualization of knowledge is always featured by the main trends in a philosophical tradition.
The intellectual capital (IC) community has entered a phase of consolidation. This article contributes to this consolidation process by clarifying existing motives (why…
The intellectual capital (IC) community has entered a phase of consolidation. This article contributes to this consolidation process by clarifying existing motives (why) and proposed methods (how) for valuing or measuring IC. In general, the field of IC performance measurement has paid little attention to organizational diagnosis and the “why” question. It is often unclear what the organizational problem is the methods intent to solve. Many methods for the valuation or measurement of Intellectual Capital can be characterized as “solutions in search of a cause”. Another area that requires clarification is the “how” question. There seems to be confusion about the distinction between valuation and measurement. The distinction is fundamental yet not recognized in the field. Based on a literature review this article presents a classification of motives and solutions and plots ten existing methods in a “why” by “how” matrix.
To analyse common metaphors used in the intellectual capital (IC) and knowledge management literatures to conceptualise knowledge, in order to study the nature of the…
To analyse common metaphors used in the intellectual capital (IC) and knowledge management literatures to conceptualise knowledge, in order to study the nature of the intellectual capital concept.
A textual analysis methodology is used to analyse texts from The Knowledge‐Creating Company by Nonaka and Takeuchi, Working Knowledge by Davenport and Prusak and “Brainpower” by Stewart, in order to identify underlying metaphors.
Over 95 per cent of the statements about knowledge identified are based on some kind of metaphor. The two dominant metaphors that form the basis for the concept of intellectual capital are “knowledge as a resource” and “knowledge as capital”.
Metaphors highlight certain characteristics and ignore others, so the IC community should ask itself what characteristics of knowledge the “knowledge as a resource” and “knowledge as capital” metaphors ignore.
Knowledge has no referent in the real world and requires metaphor to be defined, conceptualised, and acted upon. When using such metaphors we should become aware of their limitations as they steer us in certain directions and this may happen unconsciously. The paper concludes by asking whether we need new metaphors to better understand the mechanisms of the knowledge economy, hence allowing us to potentially change some of the more negative structural features of contemporary society.
This paper is the first to highlight that intellectual capital is a metaphor and that the metaphorical nature of the concept has far reaching consequences.
This introductory editorial to the special issue “IC at the crossroads: theory and research” explains the rationale and background to the studies. In addition it outlines…
This introductory editorial to the special issue “IC at the crossroads: theory and research” explains the rationale and background to the studies. In addition it outlines reasons why the field of intellectual (IC) capital is at the crossroads. It seems that awareness of the importance of IC has been created. It is now the role of researchers as well as practitioners to move to the next level. This next level involves issues around taxonomies as well as research methodologies. In order to move on, precise definitions of concepts such as IC, better justifications of why organizations need to measure and manage IC, and increased clarity about terms such as measurement, assessment, or valuation are needed. In addition, more rigorous research methods are needed in order to test and validate existing theories in the field.
In knowledge economy, companies and organizations build sustainable competitive advantages not only relying on their internal intellectual capital but also on the…
In knowledge economy, companies and organizations build sustainable competitive advantages not only relying on their internal intellectual capital but also on the intellectual capital of other companies, organizations and institutions and specifically on those of the cluster, microcluster or territory where the company is located. This kind of intellectual capital, basically external and of a relational nature is one of the main constituents of the networked organization and from now on will be called as Social Capital because it is embedded in the social fabric (texture) of the nearby environment. Social Capital Benchmarking System is both a new management method and a new management tool, that identifies, audits and benchmarks the resources and capabilities or the social capital, existing in alternative cluster locations that are necessary to develop the specific network organization that each particular business model requires. The system has been successfully piloted in five European enterprises.