Journal of Intellectual Capital

Emerald Group Publishing Limited
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Latest documents

  • Guest editorial
  • Translating green strategic intent into green process innovation performance: the role of green intellectual capital

    Purpose: Many firms struggle to implement strategies that can successfully enhance the environmental sustainability of their processes. Drawing on the theories of green intellectual capital and complementary assets, this study develops a model describing the mechanism whereby firms can translate a green (i.e., environmental) strategy into a superior green process innovation performance (GPIP). Design/methodology/approach: Regression analysis of multi-source survey data collected from 514 managers at 257 firms (257 top management members and 257 safety or environmental managers) was used to test the hypotheses. Findings: A firm's green strategic intent has positive effects on the three aspects of green intellectual capital (i.e., human, organizational and relational capital). In turn, these three aspects have positive effects on GPIP. Moreover, green organizational capital positively moderates the effect of green relational capital on GPIP, whereas it negatively moderates the effect of human capital on GPIP. Research limitations/implications: In order to implement a green strategy successfully, especially in polluted industries such as the chemical industry, managers need to develop not only the firm's tangible resources but also its intangible resources. The more they invest in green organizational capital, the higher the level of GPIP that can be achieved. On average, a firm's green human capital is more important than its organizational and relational capital. Moreover, its organizational capital helps capture the benefits of its relational capital, but it impairs the creativity of its human capital. Originality/value: The authors contribute to the literature on green strategy implementation by suggesting that green intellectual capital plays a mediating role in the relationship between a firm's green strategic intent and GPIP.

  • The role of human capital in the foreign market performance of US SMEs: does owner ethnicity matter?

    Purpose: This paper adopts an intellectual capital perspective to investigate the role of owners who are ethnic minorities in the foreign market expansion performance of SMEs, and in particular considers the human capital dimension of intellectual capital. Design/methodology/approach: Based on the empirical investigation of a sample of 10,326 small- and medium-sized US high-tech manufacturing enterprises, the authors’ results reveal a positive relationship between the number of foreign markets where these SMEs operate and their financial performance, and that this effect is reinforced by the presence of ethnic minority owners, as ethnic minorities constitute a valuable source of intellectual capital which bring value to firms. Findings: The authors’ findings reveal the importance of intellectual capital in an SME’s leadership position, specifically in terms of having individuals from normally disadvantaged groups as owners. In this sense, policymakers are crucial in supporting the inclusion of ethnic minorities in SME ownership, through advantageous treatment in firms, for example. Practical implications: The study presents practical implications for managers seeking foreign market expansion. In addition, when defining ownership structure (e.g., in the start-up phase), the role of human capital, in the form of ethnic minorities, should not be neglected, especially if an SME intends to operate or is already operating in different national contexts. Originality/value: The authors’ results provide important insights into the positive effect of human capital on SME foreign market performance. The idea of a moderating role played by owners from ethnic minorities suggested here contributes to the literature on human capital and is one of the first attempts to consider this moderating factor in this relationship, especially in the SME context.

  • Guest editorial
  • Intellectual capital in Society 5.0 by the lens of the knowledge creation theory

    Purpose: This paper reviews the development of knowledge creation theory in the last quarter-century and how it has contributed to innovation management and looks into social and human aspects of innovation in the era of “Society 5.0”. Design/methodology/approach: This research aims to relate basic theoretical concepts: knowledge creation and knowledge assets, purpose, leadership, and place (Ba) for innovation to drive innovation and its management as a whole ecosystem. It also discusses the application to innovation management systems open innovation, and social innovation. Findings: Today's innovation demands socio-economic fusion that goes beyond current corporate boundaries. By preparing the system (knowledge ecosystem) as the basis, we could build the bridge, and such fusion would be possible. Research limitations/implications: This paper shows the framework of the idea. Evidence-based research based on “knowledge assessment” will be discussed on another occasion. Originality/value: This research is to explain knowledge management, innovation, and social innovation beyond the corporate framework.

  • The effects of business ethics and corporate social responsibility on intellectual capital voluntary disclosure

    Purpose: This study aims to examine the potential effect that business ethics (BE) in general and corporate social responsibility (CSR) more specifically can exert on the voluntary disclosure (VD) of intellectual capital (IC) for the ethically most engaged firms in the world. Design/methodology/approach: The research design is based on an inductive approach. As part of the global quantitative investigation, the authors have analyzed the impact of BE and CSR on the transparent communication of the IC. The data under analysis have been investigated using multiple linear regression. Findings: Based on a sample of 83 enterprises emerging as the most ethical companies in the world, the results have revealed that the adoption of ethical and socially responsible approach is positively associated with the extent of VD about IC. This finding may help attenuating the asymmetry of information and the conflict of interest potentially arising with corporate partners. Hence, IC-VD may stand as an evidence of ethical and socially responsible behaviors. Practical implications: Global and national regulators and policymakers can be involved by these results when setting social reporting standards because they suggest that institutional and/or cultural factors affect top management's social reporting behavior in the publication of the IC information. Social implications: Direct and indirect stakeholders, if supported by ethical and socially responsible behaviors of the company, could assess more in detail the quality of the disclosed information concerning the IC. Originality/value: Most of the studies that have been conducted in this field have examined the effect of BE and CSR on the firm's overall transparency, neglecting their potential effect on IC disclosure. This study is designed to fill in this gap through testing the impact of ethical and socially responsible approaches specifically on IC-VD.

  • The ISO 30401 knowledge management systems standard – a new framework for value creation and research?

    Purpose: The article reviews major developments in the literature on knowledge management and intellectual capital management. It provides a description and visualization of the structure and content of the ISO 30401 and critically benchmarks its clauses against comprehensive taxonomies from the literature. Design/methodology/approach: 2018 saw the release of the ISO 30401 Knowledge Management Systems Standard, a type A regulation which may serve as a basis for certification. It builds on and integrates a broad and conceptually diverse literature on knowledge resources (e.g. intellectual capital theory, knowledge management theory). This article aims to show how the management systems standard relates to the literature it is built on and provides directions for its further operationalization by certification bodies and implementation by managers. Findings: The ISO 30401 successfully integrates a diverse body of literature in a broadly applicable cross-industry standard. To operationalize and implement it, certification bodies and managers should build on empirical evidence of “what works,” taking into account market characteristics as well as organizational properties. Further research should support the implementation of the standard by developing KM measurement frameworks and context-specific studies of KM tools and methods. Originality/value: This article is the first to systematically compare the ISO 30401 to the underlying theory. This paper uncovers avenues for research and makes suggestions for the standard's operationalization in practice.

  • Guest editorial
  • Lessons learned in intellectual capital management in Germany between 2000 and 2020 – History, applications, outlook

    Purpose: This article reports on the background, the conceptual ideas and the lessons learned from over more than 20 years of IC Statements and Management with a country focus on Germany and some international developments. It calls for an integrated management approach for IC and offers case study evidence on how to accomplish this quest. Design/methodology/approach: Report on the German initiative “Intellectual Capital Statement made in Germany” (ICS m.i.G.). A brief review of the literature describes the background and theoretical foundation of the German IC method. A short description of the method is followed by four detailed case studies to illustrate long-term impact of IC management in very different organizations. A discussion of Lessons Learned from more than 200 implementations and an outlook on current and future developments finalizes the article. Findings: IC Statements made in Germany (ICS m.i.G.) was successful in providing a framework to systematically identify IC, evaluate the status quo of IC relative to the strategic requirements, visualize interdependencies of IC, business processes and business results as well as to connect IC reporting with internal management routines and external communication. However, ICS is not an insulated method but delivers the maximum benefit when integrated with strategy development, strategy implementation, business process optimization accompanied by change management routines. Strong ties to human resource management, information technology departments, quality management, research and development teams as well as business operations as the core of an organization help to yield the most for ICS m.i.G. Over time, the focus of managing IC changes and maturity leads to deutero learning. Practical implications: ICS m.i.G. proved easy to apply, cost efficient for SMEs, larger corporations and networks. It helps to better accomplish their objectives and to adjust their business models. The guidelines in German and English as well as a software application released were downloaded more than 100,000 times. A certification process based on a three-tier training module is available and was successfully completed by more than 400 practitioners. ICS m.i.G. is supporting current standards of knowledge management, such as ISO 9001, ISO 30401 or DIN SPEC PAS 91443 and therefore will most likely have a continuing impact on knowledge-based value creation. Originality/value: This paper reports lessons learned from the country-wide IC initiative in Germany over the last 20 years initiated and supported by the authors. Several elements of the method have been published over time, but so far no comprehensive view on Lessons Learned had been published.

  • How does cluster location and intellectual capital impact entrepreneurial success within high-growth firms?

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of intellectual capital and knowledge management in the entrepreneurial success of firms through a research model which is subsequently tested empirically. Design/methodology/approach: The paper utilises the knowledge-based perspective to formulate three sets of hypotheses which the authors subsequently test in the empirical analysis on data derived from the Orbis database, which includes over 1-million data points from approximately 240,000 firms across 174 geographic subdivisions of economic regions in 14 European countries, from 2010 to 2013. The analysis utilises probit model regressions on the likelihood of becoming a high-growth firms (HGF), in the presence of a number of control factors including firm age, firm size, tangible assets, foreign ownership, competitiveness (via Herfindahl index), return on assets, industry sector and country location. Findings: Findings from our analysis suggest that investments in intangible assets and generating patents from research and development (R&D) efforts is positively related to the likelihood of becoming a HGF. In addition, cluster membership seems to be a positive influence on becoming a HGF, however the moderating impact of intangible investments and patents is less clear in clusters. Research limitations/implications: The authors highlight the mixed effects from cluster membership and the beneficial impact from intellectual capital and knowledge management in achieving high growth firm status. Originality/value: The authors derive and test our research model, which outlines the interrelationship of the various factors leading to firms becoming high-growth firms. The results suggest that there may be further fruitful ground for future investigation in the intersections of knowledge management and intellectual capital concepts within entrepreneurial contexts.

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