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What it means is what it does: a comparative analysis of implementing intellectual capital in Norway and Spain


  • Cristina Chaminade
  • Hanno Roberts


The implementation of the intellectual capital (IC) concept at firm level introduces a new vocabulary to the existing language set. Firms are attempting to make sense of the concept and, in the process, operationalize it in terms of specific management tools. This paper provides a comparative analysis of intellectual capital trajectories in Norway and Spain. Although the implementation designs are different (selected small and medium-sized enterprises and sector in Norway and more non-selected in Spain), the paper finds that a dominant accounting perspective can lead to an excessive focus on measurement issues and little attention to management processes. Alternatively, introducing IC with a broader and less defined focus might help newcomers to experiment with the concept in a more open-minded way. In non-experienced firms the entrance point matters, as it defines the meaning for new words and concepts such as intellectual capital or intangibles.

Suggested Citation

  • Cristina Chaminade & Hanno Roberts, 2003. "What it means is what it does: a comparative analysis of implementing intellectual capital in Norway and Spain," European Accounting Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 733-751.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:euract:v:12:y:2003:i:4:p:733-751
    DOI: 10.1080/09638180310001628446

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    Cited by:

    1. Castilla Polo, Francisca & Gallardo Vázquez, Dolores, 2008. "Social information within the intellectual capital report," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 353-363, December.
    2. Mike Tayles & Richard H. Pike & Saudah Sofian, 2007. "Intellectual capital, management accounting practices and corporate performance: Perceptions of managers," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 20(4), pages 522-548, July.
    3. Christoph Endenich & Michael Brandau & Andreas Hoffjan, 2011. "Two Decades of Research on Comparative Management Accounting – Achievements and Future Directions," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 21(4), pages 365-382, December.
    4. Ienciu Nicoleta Maria, 2012. "A Longitudinal Analysis Of Intellectual Capital," Annals of Faculty of Economics, University of Oradea, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1(1), pages 938-943, July.
    5. Karl Breunig & Katja Hydle, 2013. "Remote control: measuring performance for value creation and governance of globally distributed knowledge work," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 17(3), pages 559-582, August.
    6. katia Corsi & Daniela Mancini, 2015. "Regulatory compliance of financial control systems and its implications for accountants. Some evidence from Italian experience," MANAGEMENT CONTROL, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2015(3), pages 65-91.
    7. Enzo Bivona, 2008. "Exploring Intellectual Capital In A Call Centre Through A ‘System Dynamics’ Resource Based View," Portuguese Journal of Management Studies, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, vol. 0(3), pages 361-383.
    8. Frédérique Evraert-Bardinet, 2017. "Intellectual capital, governance and institutional factors
      [Capital intellectuel, gouvernance et facteurs institutionnels]
      ," Post-Print hal-01907521, HAL.
    9. Laurie Hunter & Elizabeth Webster & Anne Wyatt, 2005. "Measuring Intangible Capital: A Review of Current Practice," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 15(36), pages 4-21, July.
    10. Lai Wan Hooi, 2014. "HRM Intensity, Corporate Entrepreneurship and Organisational Learning Capability in SMEs: What is the Relationship?," Proceedings of International Academic Conferences 0701980, International Institute of Social and Economic Sciences.
    11. Maria Serena Chiucchi & Marco Giuliani & Stefano Marasca, 2014. "The design, implementation and use of intellectual capital measurements: a case study," MANAGEMENT CONTROL, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2014(2), pages 143-168.
    12. Vivien Beattie & Robin Roslender & Sarah Jane Smith, 2013. "Balancing on a Tightrope: Customer Relational Capital, Value Creation and Disclosure," FINANCIAL REPORTING, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2013(3-4), pages 19-52.
    13. Stefania Veltri & Giovanni Bronzetti, 2015. "A Critical Analysis of the Intellectual Capital Measuring, Managing, and Reporting Practices in the Non-profit Sector: Lessons Learnt from a Case Study," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(2), pages 305-318, October.

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