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Intangible assets dynamics and firm behaviour


  • A. Arrighetti


  • F. Landini


  • A. Lasagni



We study the adoption of different intangible investment strategies in manufacturing firms. Contrary to most of the previous literature, we find such strategies to be highly differentiated. In particular we identify three types of investment behaviour: high and persistent, low and persistent, discontinuous. Using as a reference the capability-based view of the firm, we define and provide support for a set of hypotheses on the determinants of such behaviours. We obtain the following results: first, absorptive capacity led by R&D expenditures is a key competence in sustaining the adoption of an intangible investment strategy, which may be either persistent or discontinuous; second, the implementation of a persistent intangible investment strategy necessarily requires specific investments in the quality of human resources to be made; third, firms with a greater propensity to operate in international markets are more likely to adopt a persistent intangible investment strategy than they are to adopt a discontinuous one; fourth, firms that undertake a growth path that is based on highly uncertain demand segments and high organisational flexibility are likely to adopt a discontinuous intangible investment strategy; and five, the historical intangible asset base represents an important constraint on firms’ investment behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Arrighetti & F. Landini & A. Lasagni, 2012. "Intangible assets dynamics and firm behaviour," Economics Department Working Papers 2012-EP05, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
  • Handle: RePEc:par:dipeco:2012-ep05

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. A. Arrighetti & F. Landini & A. Lasagni, 2015. "Firms’economic crisis and firm exit: do intangibles matters?," Economics Department Working Papers 2015-EP04, Department of Economics, Parma University (Italy).
    2. Landini, Fabio & Arrighetti, Alessandro & Lasagni, Andrea, 2015. "Economic Crisis and Firm Exit: Do Intangibles Matter?," SEP Working Papers 2015/10, LUISS School of European Political Economy.

    More about this item


    intangibles; firm behaviour; asset accumulation; organisational capabilities; R&D; investment strategy;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D

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