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The Japanese Government's intellectual capital reporting guideline: What are the challenges for firms and capital market agents?

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of the present paper is to discuss the Guideline for Intellectual Property Information Disclosure (GIPID) in relation to the ambitious aspirations behind the guideline and in that way develop a future research agenda aiming at addressing the main challenges regarding the construction of guidelines for future IC reporting. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The purpose will be achieved by comparing the GIPID with two other IC guideline proposals, namely MERITUM and the Danish Guideline for Intellectual Capital Statements, respectively, from a capital market communication perspective and from a management control perspective. References are made to 12 Japanese companies that have published IP reports. The sample companies operate in a wide range of nine industries covering, for example, security, manufacturing, transportation, and chemistry, and comprise large as well as small firms. Findings ‐ The study identifies four major challenges for intellectual capital guidelines and reporting. These challenges regard market communication, management control, uniqueness versus comparability, and confidentiality versus accountability. The paper concludes with a number of questions of vital importance for future research within the research area. Originality/value ‐ This is one of the first papers that discuss the Japanese Guideline for Intellectual Property Information Disclosure as well as to compare it with similar European guidelines.

Keywords: Financial reporting; Intellectual capital; Intellectual property; Japan

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 1, 2006


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