Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to look at how the papers of the Special Issue provide a perspective for the current state of the field of intellectual capital and a departure point for further research explorations. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The
paper discusses the other papers in the Special Issue and draws conclusions. Findings ‐ The papers composing this Special Issue are from a very broad geographical set of regions yet have the common element of being direct reflections on the implementation of intellectual capital
initiatives. Practical implications ‐ This body of papers demonstrates that the field is maturing to one where there are existing initiatives that are in operation or in the process of implementation. The implication is that researchers will need to be aware that there is a transition
in the field and to recognize that a new era of intellectual capital is under way. Originality/value ‐ This paper identifies three stages in the evolution of the field of intellectual capital ‐ i.e. definitional, expansion of the theoretical basis, and implementation ‐
and notes how the papers in this issue embody the transition to the third stage, where the focus will link to implementation.