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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Daniela Di Berardino and Christian Corsi

Using the quality evaluation approach, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the contribution of intellectual capital (IC) to the development of the third mission in Italian…

1062

Abstract

Purpose

Using the quality evaluation approach, the purpose of this paper is to analyze the contribution of intellectual capital (IC) to the development of the third mission in Italian universities, defining the impact of these activities in the regional context. This research aims to verify if the mandatory reporting on quality discloses the contribution of IC to value creation, enhancing the universities’ awareness about IC management and third mission development.

Design/methodology/approach

The convergence between IC framework and quality evaluation approach is tested through an empirical research on a sample of 71 Italian universities funded by the government. Statistical analyses use data collected for the period 2004-2014 during the national assessment for research activity and third mission performance. The impact of third mission on the university ecosystem is verified using the indexes related to the territorial development rates.

Findings

This research found significant IC disclosure in the quality evaluation model and it highlights the possible integration between the IC measures and the quality evaluation indicators. The research findings show also a positive impact of third mission activities in the university ecosystem and the relevant role of structural capital and relational capital in the development of third mission. These findings encourage a collegial discussion in the university governance and among academics, stimulating a strategic behavior in the whole system

Research limitations/implications

The paper focuses the attention on research activity and third mission, considering the final results provided by an external stakeholder of university. Further research must include the role of teaching activity and the opinion of universities’ managers, researchers and administrative staff.

Originality/value

Following the neo-institutional sociology perspective, this research analyses for the first time the convergence between the solid experience of quality assessment and the immature IC culture in Italian universities. This analysis explores the value created by intangible activities in the university ecosystem, with a longitudinal perspective, contributing to the fourth stage of the IC literature.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 January 2016

Stefan Schaper

Dumay and Garanina (2013) asserted that, even though intellectual capital (IC) researchers would like to continue developing new models, existing models seem to not be used in…

1109

Abstract

Purpose

Dumay and Garanina (2013) asserted that, even though intellectual capital (IC) researchers would like to continue developing new models, existing models seem to not be used in practice. Nielsen et al. (in press) discovered that almost all companies that were originally involved in the Danish project of guidelines for intellectual capital statements (ICS) have abandoned their work with ICS a few years after the project ended. The purpose of this paper is to inquire the underlying reasons and conditions that drove these organisations to stop using the acquired framework.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on both survey and in-depth interview data from key employees of 58 organisations. Qualitative content analysis employing thematic coding is used to crystallise aspects among the provided reasons, to categorise them, and to investigate possible relations. Results are interpreted through a conceptual framework containing elements diffusion theory, management fashion and fads theory and lifecycles as well as implementation failure of knowledge management (KM) techniques.

Findings

A multitude of reasons and conditions are discovered as having affected companies’ decisions to interrupt their ICS practices. Underlying aspects principally refer to deliberately taken decisions but also to a substantial number of exogenous factors and conditions. Their common denominator is identified in the low perceived value of ICS, both internally from a KM perspective and externally in relation to the disclosure practice. This leads to the conclusion that ICS can be considered a hierarchically diffused management fashion whose implementation within these companies failed, and its lifecycle subsequently ended with rejection.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited due to the particular composition of the selected research sample, which, together with the qualitative nature of the research, restricts the possibility of any generalisations of the results to the broader field of IC and extra-financial reporting.

Originality/value

It represents a large-scale attempt to directly investigate organisations’ and managers’ reluctances towards ICS measuring and reporting, its perceived value, and the failure of its persistent implementation.

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