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Why are capital market actors ambivalent to information about certain indicators on intellectual capital?

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An increasing body of literature is documenting a high pay-off from human capital investment. However, different studies of the interest from capital market actors to take information about intangibles into account reveal contradictory findings. The interest with respect to intellectual capital indicators is ambivalent. Why? In the present article five reasons for this ambivalent interest are discussed; capital market actors may first, not understand the importance of intangibles (the knowledge problem); second, not trust the indicators with respect to validity and reliability (the uncertainty problem); third, exaggerate the risk of losing the intangible resource (the ownership problem); fourth, not feel secure about the management's capability of taking action upon data (the management problem). However, the most important deterrent to account for is maybe the fifth, the mentality of capital market actors as a group.

Keywords: Capital Markets; Human Capital Theory; Intangible Assets; Intellectual Capital

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09513570310464255

Publication date: March 12, 2003

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