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From measuring to learning? Probing the evolutionary path of IC research and practice

Yu, Ai and Humphreys, Patrick (2013) From measuring to learning? Probing the evolutionary path of IC research and practice. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 14 (1). pp. 26-47. ISSN 1469-1930

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Identification Number: 10.1108/14691931311289002


In line with an emerging critical trend in the field of intellectual capital (IC), the aim of this paper is to probe the evolutionary path of IC research and practices. The paper aims to argue that IC research and practices need to shift from the measuring paradigm to a learning paradigm. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 15 interviews with experienced IC consultants were conducted while they were all working on a European Commission funded IC project across five European countries from 2005 to 2008. Altogether their voices constitute a critical line of thought. Findings: The findings showed that a learning paradigm does not take a stand against the measuring paradigm, however it does transform the measuring paradigm, as it takes it to a new level of understanding by engaging a firm's attention to the socio-psychological mechanism that generates and sustains IC flows. IC flows entail new knowledge flows, practice flows, and affect flows that elicit organizational change and innovation. Practical implications: The paper discusses two implications of this research. First, effective IC flow management may strengthen a firm's future earning potential by allowing for value-added activities and by nurturing a strong learning motive. Second, three criteria for IC information disclosure are proposed to work around the issue of management control and/or public relations manipulation. The paper suggests that the design and implementation of IC models within a reporting framework should aim to make the concept of IC more accessible, actionable, and effective. Originality/value: This paper offers a novel conceptual framework and an operational context which explore the possible ways of advancing IC research and practices.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2013 14:32
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 01:36

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