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Intellectual capital under the temporal lens

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Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the understanding of intellectual capital (IC) by adopting a temporal lens and emphasizing the role time plays in IC analysis. Design/methodology/approach ‐ An action research case study (Alpha) related to a joint venture development process is conducted. Findings ‐ IC is a complex and dynamic system which can be observed from several different perspectives, not only according to the point of view adopted by the observer, but also according to the moment in which IC is being observed. Thus, the time factor must also be considered in the whole IC issue. Research limitations/implications ‐ The limitations of this study are related to the particular research methodology adopted (action research). The main implication of this paper is that the temporal context and the time dimension have to be considered as variables in IC analysis. How to explicitly consider time in the IC question represents future research opportunities. Originality/value ‐ First, the paper applies, in the accounting field, a research lens that is mainly used in organizational studies. Second, it stresses the role played by time in IC, a factor that authors tend to underestimate in their studies.
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Keywords: Intangible assets; Intellectual capital; Joint ventures; Organizational structures

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 17 April 2009

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