Research Forum on “Intangibles”

Zambon Stefano/ Financial ReportingRiviste /Fascicolo: 3-2013

In recent years one of the most frequently used “buzzwords” is that we live in a knowledge economy. This concept is articulated in a multifaceted number of expressions (e.g. information economy, knowledge-based society, intangible economy, conceptual companies, and so on), which stress differentiated and yet connected aspects. By the same token, a number of studies (e.g. Corrado and Hulten, 2010) has revealed that we are facing a new phase in the evolution of the capitalistic system, where investments on intangibles have overcome those on tangibles. It is evident that the two phenomena are intertwined: the new role and weight of knowledge in the economic system and organisations is likely to be a primary trigger of the role and weight of intangibles therein. Indeed, intangible resources are genetically linked to knowledge. This epochal change in the investment pattern and economic role of knowledge is determining – amid various consequences – a paradigm shift also in the management of organisations and their value drivers. Reputation, research, know-how, brands, skills, procedures, intellectual property, technological capabilities, leadership, customer relationship are all depending on different forms of knowledge, and in the last twenty years they have also become strategic elements for corporate growth. Not surprisingly, companies, national and international institutions, research centers, academic journals have devoted increasing attention to intangibles and their effects on economic systems and agents. […]

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