The Process of Creating Value With Intellectual Capital Practice as An Intangible Asset in Communities of Practice in The SME: An Empirical Case Study

Authors

  • Bjarne Christensen

Keywords:

Intellectual capital, measurement, intangible assets, communities of practice, knowledge brokers, SME

Abstract

In the realm of knowledge management, great emphasis has been put on intellectual capital (IC) as an important and, partially, intangible asset for achieving economic value and competitiveness. This has led to many attempts to measure the economic value of IC. These methods, however, are to some extent questionable and do not seem to be recognized in practice, scholars claim. This might be due to the intangible character of IC. Even though scholars have conducted studies on IC, more research on IC practice and the value creation process with IC is called for; especially in the context of a small to medium‑sized enterprise (SME). Based on an empirical and qualitative case study of an SME, the current paper explores the process of IC practice creation and how IC practice is related to value in tangible‑intangible dynamics in the SME. The current paper applies practice theorising and the community of practice (CoP) approach to propose how IC practice can create value by integrating intangible knowing about end consumers in the practice of producing tangible output. The empirical results illustrate how establishing communities of practice and fostering knowledge brokers facilitating meaning‑negotiating processes is crucial to developing IC practice as intangible assets in the SME, and the paper discusses how making the intangible knowing tangible may increase the value of intangibility in the process of creating IC value and IC practice.

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Published

1 Sep 2018

Issue

Section

General Paper