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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Marco Giuliani, Maria Serena Chiucchi and Stefano Marasca

This paper has the ambition to enrich the extant research about the interplay between measuring intellectual capital (IC) and managing IC or, more precisely, about the…

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1081

Abstract

Purpose

This paper has the ambition to enrich the extant research about the interplay between measuring intellectual capital (IC) and managing IC or, more precisely, about the production and consumption of IC measurements in practice. Stemming from these considerations, the purpose of this paper is to disentangle the production and consumption processes of IC measurements in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on a longitudinal case study is analysed adopting an interventionist approach.

Findings

This study shows the peculiarities regarding the production and consumption of IC measurements, from several perspectives. In particular, it emerges that the reporting of IC can, in some specific contexts, lead to the non-use of IC measurements and to the disappearance of the measured object, IC. What is questionable is whether it is the loss of interest in the IC object that has led to the non-use of the IC measurements or if it is the non-consumption of the measurements and their qualities that has implied the disappearance of the measurement object. In addition, this study sheds a light on the fact that in an IC project the consumption of the measurements can occur not only at the end of the production process, but also (and may be especially) during the production process itself. This consumption can generate different effects such as the identification of new managerial objects, the establishment of new initiatives, the development of a deeper knowledge about how IC works or a change of the sense of some of the existing measurements. In all, the paper underlines the fact that how IC measurements are produced (the process followed and the “actors” involved) affects their actual consumption (or non-consumption).

Research limitations/implications

This paper contributes to the extant literature regarding the production and consumption of IC measurements. Moreover, it contributes to the field of IC “in practice” as it highlights what happens when an IC measurement system is implemented. Finally, the research work can contribute both to the studies regarding IC as an accounting change and to the ones regarding IC as a tool that facilitates organizational change. From the first perspective, the paper highlights how the introduction of IC has fostered long-lasting changes in the management accounting system, albeit circumscribed to the local (departmental) level. From the second perspective, the paper shows how IC may allow the creation of new managerial objects, thus promoting possible new actions. The main limitations of this study are related to the methodology adopted and to its specific pros and cons.

Originality/value

In comparison to previous studies, this one does not focus only on the managerial and organizational aspects related to the design and implementation of IC measurements or on their actual use, but attempts to approach them simultaneously adopting a longitudinal view. Moreover, this study does not adopt a theoretical perspective on how the indicators are designed and consumed but is aimed at investigating how these indicators are produced and consumed “in practice”. Finally, this study focus on the interplay between production and consumption of indicators, i.e. on the use of IC measurements in relation to the peculiarities of their production process.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2011

Marco Giuliani and Stefano Marasca

The aim of this study is to reflect on how the specific nature of intellectual capital influences the valuation process, in practice, and how it impacts on some of the…

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2580

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to reflect on how the specific nature of intellectual capital influences the valuation process, in practice, and how it impacts on some of the qualities of its value.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is based on a case study (“Ankon”) developed by adopting a modest interventionist approach.

Findings

This study highlights the relevance of the intellectual capital valuation process in spite of the intellectual capital value per se. In fact, while intellectual capital value seems to present a limited level of objectivity, consistency, comparability and understandability, its valuation process can be considered an opportunity to visualise and understand intellectual capital and its influence on financial performance. In other words, intellectual capital valuation can be considered as a practice useful to crave the attention of the managers on intellectual capital in action.

Research limitations/implications

The main limitations of this study are related to the particular research methodology adopted (action research case study) and to the size of the case investigated.

Practical implications

The findings provided by this research should be useful to those interested in studying intellectual capital in action and in developing new valuation models or refining existing models. Finally, considering that some of the limitations of intellectual capital value can be related to the absence of generally accepted valuation guidelines (e.g. the absence of a common definition, a single process, etc.), this can represent an incentive for policy makers to draw up useful rules to make intellectual capital value more understandable for an outsider and to identify managerial best practices.

Originality/value

In comparison with previous studies on intellectual capital valuation, this one focuses on an in vivo intellectual capital valuation process. In addition, this research stresses the specificities and criticalities that emerge from a process perspective in which intellectual capital is considered as a conventional object. Moreover, this paper enriches the previous critical discussions on intellectual capital measurement focusing on intellectual capital financial value.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 12 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

Abstract

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Adele Del Bello

Public sector entities are clearly catalysts, generators and managers of intangibles. However, they appear to be unaware so far of the possibility to prepare and use…

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1924

Abstract

Purpose

Public sector entities are clearly catalysts, generators and managers of intangibles. However, they appear to be unaware so far of the possibility to prepare and use intangibles statements, but they often include information on the intangibles they produce and are concerned with in other forms of reporting they publish (e.g. social, environmental, sustainability reports). Accordingly, the first aim of the paper is to analyse the degree of disclosure on intangible resources and activities in public sector bodies' supplementary reports that have indeed different objectives from intangibles statements. In particular, the paper focuses on Local Agenda 21 (LA21), which is a local government sustainability report that is quite well known internationally. The second aim of the work is to evaluate whether, in more general terms, intangibles reports that are currently developed by private sector organisations would also be desirable for local public sector entities, and, if so, whether they could be integrated with LA21. This way, a more comprehensive report, including both sustainability‐ and intangibles‐related information, could be designed and fruitfully implemented.

Design/methodology/approach

The tentative exploration for intangibles‐related information within Local Agenda 21 is conducted through an empirical study referring to the specific case of Agenda 21 prepared by the Commune and the Province of Ferrara (Italy) in 2003. The evaluation of the usefulness of intangibles reports for local public sector entities is based on the analysis of the scope of their possible use.

Findings

A table is provided, including indicators that are drawn from the above sustainability report, and that could be also part of a potential intangibles statement of the local government units concerned. In generalising the results, some relevant intersection areas appear in the indicators used, even though intangibles reports and Agenda 21 serve different informational needs for diverse stakeholders. In this sense, an integration between the two documents seems possible. Indeed, a further relevant result that has also important practical implications is that intangibles reports are quite desirable for local governments as they could provide basic information that could be used not only in the perspective of communication with stakeholders, but also for internal managerial purposes of local government, such as the identification of weaknesses and assessment of the results deriving from intangibles investments and management.

Originality/value

This issue seems to be scarcely analysed, especially in the perspective proposed, by the existing literature.

Details

Journal of Intellectual Capital, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1469-1930

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 January 2017

Francesca Francioli and Massimo Albanese

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model to disclose, report, and manage intellectual capital (IC) in a network of companies. To this end, it provides a monetary…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a model to disclose, report, and manage intellectual capital (IC) in a network of companies. To this end, it provides a monetary evaluation of core competencies (CCs), which may be defined as a bundle of various types of intangibles, aggregating their value into a network statement, called a network competence report (NCR).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper utilises the interventionist approach. The intervention was conducted by the authors and studied through joint reflections on documentation from meetings and individual, semi-structured interviews.

Findings

The NCR makes IC more transparent, thereby allowing companies and network managers to assess the strengths and weaknesses of CCs with a consequent potential insight into their potential earnings.

Research limitations/implications

This method is labour-intensive, especially in its first application, and the data collection requires considerable company involvement. The interventionist approach may have influenced the empirical results, which may be affected by subjectivity. As the paper involves a single network, care should be taken in generalising its empirical evidence.

Practical implications

In making IC management more effective, the NCR is valuable for academics, management, political authorities and, more generally, for a network’s stakeholders. The NCR is a tool for internal and external communication purposes, creating the conditions to mobilise IC. The proposed model supports the diagnosis of networks by providing CC maps and assessments relevant to their governance and competitiveness. The NCR depicts company and network CCs, allowing intertemporal comparisons that facilitate understanding of the effectiveness of the network’s actions and the importance of belonging to it.

Originality/value

This paper represents a first attempt to evaluate, in monetary terms, CCs in a network. Its value lies in its practical implications. Moreover, the paper investigates IC in applied terms, contributing to reducing the gap between theory and practice.

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