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Capturing intangibles for improved IA management and benchmarking

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Purpose ‐ Improved exploitation of Scotland's intellectual assets (IA) has been identified as a critical means of improving the economic wellbeing of the nation. Earlier research highlighted a general lack of awareness of IA amongst all types of organisations in Scotland. The Intellectual Assets Centre coordinated the Scottish devolved government and European Union (EU) funded Innovative Actions projects designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from all industry sectors to start to address IA management issues. The purpose of this paper is to describe the activities implemented by the Intellectual Assets Centre. Design/methodology/approach ‐ A review of IA capture and development comparing IA activities in the EU and a survey of how 450 Scottish organisations (all SMEs) currently capture their IA was conducted. An IA capturing tool, the feasibility of a novel IA benchmarking tool and a toolkit to assist know-how capture were developed. These were piloted with SMEs from various industries. Findings ‐ Simple tools were developed which proved to be very useful aids to facilitate improved learning and understanding of IA management issues for the SMEs involved in pilot testing. Research limitations/implications ‐ Although tools were web-enabled, more value was seen to be gained when used with an advisor knowledgeable about IA management issues, especially when using the IA Capture Tool and Know-how capture toolkit. Practical implications ‐ These new tools have been designed specifically for smaller businesses (SMEs). Originality/value ‐ This work has addressed an identified need for simple means to help smaller businesses to take their first steps in managing their intellectual assets, and as a result a series of tools have been developed.
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Keywords: Benchmarking; Intellectual capital; Knowledge capture; Scotland; Small to medium-sized enterprises

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2006-10-01

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