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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2001

PHILIP O'REGAN, DAVID O'DONNELL, TOM KENNEDY, NICK BONTIS and PETER CLEARY

Recent market volatility has provided a fundamental challenge to those arguing for the central role of intellectual capital as a source of organisation value. Using…

Abstract

Recent market volatility has provided a fundamental challenge to those arguing for the central role of intellectual capital as a source of organisation value. Using perceptual data relevant to the importance of intellectual capital as a source of enterprise value gathered in two studies conducted before and after the recent market ‘downturn’ respectively, this paper provides empirical evidence in support of the continuing and central importance of intellectual capital. The findings from these two studies also demonstrate consistency in the composition of the human, internal and external components of intellectual capital. The Irish software/telecom sector provides an ideal research frame work for any such investigation. In recent years Ireland has established itself as the largest software exporter in the world and this sector has been one of the primary engines of growth in an economy that has experienced real growth of over 40% in 6 years, a rate unparalleled in the developed world.

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Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Philip O’Regan, David O’Donnell and Margaret Heffernan

Intangible intellectual resources, arising from changes in the nature of economic forces, have now joined the more traditional tangible triad of land, labour and capital…

Abstract

Intangible intellectual resources, arising from changes in the nature of economic forces, have now joined the more traditional tangible triad of land, labour and capital. One of the keys to commercial success, therefore, will be the capacity of a firm to identify, manage, foster and invest in these intellectual resources, and, in particular, in the people which underpin them. This article makes two contributions to the emerging literature on intellectual capital. First, based on empirical data, it offers some preliminary results of a study of the drivers and generators of intellectual capital. This enables the tentative identification of some key relationships and knowledge drivers within this sector and of the consequent challenges for disciplines such as accounting and management. Second, it posits a theoretical/methodological approach to intellectual capital based upon Habermas’ concept of communicative action.

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Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 25 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

David O'Donnell, Mairead Tracey, Lars Bo Henriksen, Nick Bontis, Peter Cleary, Tom Kennedy and Philip O'Regan

Following Marx and Engels' identification of the “essential condition of capital”, the purpose of this paper is to begin an initial critical exploration of the essential…

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3145

Abstract

Purpose

Following Marx and Engels' identification of the “essential condition of capital”, the purpose of this paper is to begin an initial critical exploration of the essential condition of intellectual capital, particularly the ownership rights of labour.

Design/methodology/approach

Adopting a critically modernist stance on unitarist HR and OB discourse, and contextualised within a background on the stock option phenomenon and recent accounting regulation, the paper argues that the fundamental nature of the capital‐labour relation continues resiliently into the IC labour (intellectual capital‐labour) relation.

Findings

There is strong evidence that broad‐based employee stock options (ESOPs) have become institutionalised in certain firms and sectors – but the future of such schemes is very uncertain (post 2005 accounting regulation). Overly unitarist HR/OB arguments are challenged here with empirical evidence on capital's more latently strategic purposes such as conserving cash, reducing reported accounting expense in order to boost reported earnings, deferring taxes, and attracting, retaining and exploiting key elements of labour.

Research limitations/implications

Research supports the positive benefits of broad‐based employee stock ownership schemes. Further research on the benefits of such schemes and the reasons why they are or are not implemented is now required.

Practical implications

From the perspective of labour, nothing appears to have really changed (yet) in terms of the essential condition of intellectual capital.

Originality/value

This paper explicitly raises the issue of the ownership rights of labour to intellectual capital.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

David O'Donnell, Philip O'Regan, Brian Coates, Tom Kennedy, Brian Keary and Gerry Berkery

In this theoretical, empirical and occasionally speculative paper we argue that human interaction is the critical source of intangible value in the intellectual age. This…

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2404

Abstract

In this theoretical, empirical and occasionally speculative paper we argue that human interaction is the critical source of intangible value in the intellectual age. This argument is supported with some perceptual evidence on the dimensions of intellectual capital (IC) from the Irish ICT sector. Key findings are that almost two thirds of organizational value is perceived to be intellectual and that half of this IC value is perceived to stem directly from the people dimension. Drawing on the system/lifeworld distinction in Habermas’ Theory of Communicative Action we claim that the dominant tenets of market and hierarchy are changing in both nature and scope in an increasingly knowing‐intensive economy. We argue strongly that these tenets must be complemented with ideas of community and lifeworld that place human interaction at the center of a more enlightened economic and social equation.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Philip O'Regan, David O'Donnell, Tom Kennedy, Nick Bontis and Peter Cleary

The emergence of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Ireland over the course of the past decade has paralleled a period of exceptional national

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2041

Abstract

Purpose

The emergence of the information and communications technology (ICT) sector in Ireland over the course of the past decade has paralleled a period of exceptional national economic growth. This has raised questions regarding wealth distribution, power and governance. This paper seeks to identify some of the characteristics of the governance culture in this sector in Ireland. It deals specifically with issues such as board composition, non‐executive directors and the perceived role and usefulness of accounting information in the decision‐making process.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaire feedback from chief financial officers (CFOs), focusing specifically on the board of directors of indigenous, private firms.

Findings

The research indicates that firms operating in this sector adopt structures and cultures similar to those in more traditional sectors. However, there is evidence that Irish ICT firms have responded positively to calls for the roles and responsibilities of non‐executive directors to be recognised and accommodated. It also confirms the continuing centrality of accounting information to the decision‐making process.

Originality/value

The research represents an initial survey of firms operating in this sector. As such it is concerned with identifying overall patterns and contours. It is unusual in seeking feedback from CFOs and, as such, offers some unique insights. The findings will be of interest to those operating in the ICT sector and those seeking to identify the governance features that characterise this emerging and dynamic area.

Details

Corporate Governance: The international journal of business in society, vol. 5 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-0701

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Saverio Bozzolan, Philip O'Regan and Federica Ricceri

To explore the hypothesis that differences in intellectual capital disclosure (ICD) practices can be explained, if in part, by industrial sector (traditional; knowledge…

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1574

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the hypothesis that differences in intellectual capital disclosure (ICD) practices can be explained, if in part, by industrial sector (traditional; knowledge intensive) and nationality of origin (Italy; UK).

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis of the annual reports of two reasonably matched samples of both high‐technology and traditional non‐financial firms in Italy and the UK. Univariate and multivariate analyses are then used to test the hypothesis proposed.

Findings

Size and industrial sector are found to be predictors of levels of ICD; the hypothesis relating nationality of origin to ICD is not supported.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitation relates to sample size due to the onerous nature of this form of research. Further research following this matched‐sample methodology should attempt to maximise sample sizes allowing for the incorporation of more specific nationally of origin factors.

Practical implications

Owing to the increasing importance of intangibles and intellectual capital, how these are reported is of interest to a large range of stakeholders. There is, as yet, no universally accepted form, or indeed regulation, of ICD.

Originality/value

The matched‐sample methodology on international ICD comparison expands on extant approaches.

Details

Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1401-338X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2015

Na Fu, Patrick C. Flood, Janine Bosak, Tim Morris and Philip O'Regan

The purpose of this paper is to examine how a system of human resource management (HRM) practices, labelled high-performance work systems (HPWS), influences organizational…

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4919

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how a system of human resource management (HRM) practices, labelled high-performance work systems (HPWS), influences organizational innovation in professional service firms (PSFs). In this study, innovation in PSFs is seen as an indicator of firm performance and is calculated as the revenue per person generated from new clients and new services, respectively.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative data were collected from 195 managing partners, HR managers or experienced Partners in 120 Irish accounting firms. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The analysis results indicate strong support for the mediating role of employees’ innovative work behaviours in the relationship between HPWS and two types of PSFs’ innovation performance.

Practical implications

Managers need to effectively adopt and implement innovation-based HRM practices to encourage and support employees’ creative thinking and innovation. Through the adoption and utilization of these practices managers can enhance the firm’s innovation and its performance.

Originality/value

This study contributes to our understanding of the link between HRM and firm innovation by explicating a pathway between these variables. This study also generalizes consistent findings on the HRM-firm innovation relationship to a different context, i.e. PSFs.

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2000

David O’Donnell, Philip O’Regan and Brian Coates

Intellectual capital creation is theorised in this conceptual paper as a dynamic process of collective knowing that is capable of being leveraged into market value. The…

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2417

Abstract

Intellectual capital creation is theorised in this conceptual paper as a dynamic process of collective knowing that is capable of being leveraged into market value. The tacit, intangible and socially unconscious nature of substantive parts of this dynamic process presents some daunting theoretical challenges. Adopting a broadly social constructionist epistemology and a pluralist ontology, the point of departure introduced here is the set of symmetric and reciprocal relations presupposed in Jürgen Habermas’ theory of communicative action. In this worldview, interaction, as distinct from individual action, becomes the germ‐cell or basic unit of theoretical analysis. The relations and validity claims built into the medium of communicative action, viewed here as the nexus of intellectual capital creation, are substantive and real phenomena; they are thus open to empirical investigation.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 24 April 2013

Na Fu, Patrick C. Flood, Janine Bosak, Tim Morris and Philip O'Regan

The aim of this study is to better understand service supply chain management by analysing the professional service supply chain in professional service firms (PSFs) and…

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2668

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to better understand service supply chain management by analysing the professional service supply chain in professional service firms (PSFs) and exploring how the high performance work systems (HPWS) influence professional service supply chain performance. In addition, this study seeks to examine the relationship between professional service supply chain performance and the overall organizational performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Analysis of PSF suggests a three‐step of professional service supply chain as the clients' requests, partners forming working teams or so‐called team formation and utilization, and delivering of solutions or services to clients. Based on extensive literature review, the authors hypothesize that HPWS have a positive impact on the professional service supply chain performance and the team formation and utilization mediates the link. They also hypothesize the positive link between the professional service supply chain performance and the overall organisational firm performance. Employing survey method, data was collected from 93 accounting firms at two time points. In May 2010 (Time 1), a survey including questions on HPWS, team formation and utilization and professional service supply chain performance were sent out to the managing partners and HR directors in accounting firms based in Ireland. Around one year later (Time 2), another survey measuring firm performance was sent out. This data allowed the authors to establish causal pattern in their results. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to analyse data to test hypotheses.

Findings

The results indicate the positive link between HPWS and the professional service supply chain performance. The team formation and utilization mediates the above relationship. In addition, professional service supply chain performance was found to be positively linked to the firm performance.

Research limitations/implications

The present study is limited in terms of sample size, single industry and self‐report data. Future research also needs to examine more mediators or moderators – the mechanisms through which HPWS work on the professional service supply chain.

Practical implications

Firms using higher level of HPWS experience better professional service supply chain performance. Human resource management practices that promote employees' ability, motivation and opportunities which allow teams to be formed more effectively to work with clients enhance organizational performance and higher profit levels. Managers able to effectively adopt and implement these teamwork‐based HR practices and encourage and support employees' collaboration through such practices enhance the firm's professional service supply chain effectiveness and its organisational performance.

Social implications

The authors' study focuses on the service supply chain management operations within the professional service firms. In doing so, their research answers the call by Ellram et al. for more supply chain management research with respect to the service sector. It addresses a significant research gap identified by Rahman and Wu, namely, “relatively little attention has been given to the service suppliers' perspective”. By linking service supply chain management and human resource management, this study also answers a few calls for more research on the interaction of human resource management and supply chain management, service supply chain and human resource management in professional service firms.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to analyse the professional service supply chain management and assess the human resource management and supply chain management link. Moreover, it is the first study which empirically establishes the link between human resource management and professional service supply chain performance in PSFs.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2000

Philip O’Regan and David O’Donnell

A consensus is emerging that the key to competitive success is becoming the ability to create, leverage, maintain and develop specialised knowledge, competencies and…

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1791

Abstract

A consensus is emerging that the key to competitive success is becoming the ability to create, leverage, maintain and develop specialised knowledge, competencies and intellectual resources. However, little is actually known about the creation, management, utilisation and valuation of such resources. Although a concept such as intellectual capital cannot be precisely defined, this should not prevent us from employing it in an era where the intangible is rapidly assuming economic, social and psychological supremacy over the tangible. Moving beyond objectivist and purely systems theoretic approaches, our point of departure in exploring this emergent dynamic, with implications for people management and accountancy, is the set of symmetric and reciprocal relations presupposed in Habermas’ concept of communicative action.

Details

Journal of European Industrial Training, vol. 24 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0590

Keywords

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