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Charting intellectual capital performance of the gateway to China

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Purpose ‐ This paper aims to investigate whether intellectual capital (IC) has an impact on the financial aspects of organizational performance as well as attempting to identify the IC components that are associated with corporate financial performance indicators that signal organizational growth. Design/methodology/approach ‐ This study drew on financial data from publicly available annual reports of all the constituent companies of the Hang Seng Index of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for the years 2001-2009. Following the value added intellectual coefficient™ (VAIC) methodology, regression models were constructed to examine the relationships between IC and the corporate financial performance indicators. Findings ‐ Evidence was found to suggest that IC, as measured by VAIC, was positively associated with profitability of businesses. In particular, structural capital, as a key component of IC, played a notable part in enhancing corporate profitability, and showed a growing trend in its significance. Empirical findings, based on correlation and linear multiple regression analysis, indicated that the components of VAIC were strong predictors of corporate financial performance such as return on equity and profitability. In particular, capital employed efficiency (CEE) was a significant predictor of all four corporate financial performance indicators. Practical implications ‐ The results may extend the understanding of the role of IC in business operations in Hong Kong, and may help to identify the specific IC drivers that may have a direct impact on the financial performance of these companies. In particular, although CEE was a significant predictor of all four corporate finance performance indicators, the increasing contribution of structural capital efficiency (SCE) in predicting ROA and ROE was observed. The role that structural capital plays in strengthening business performance warrants further investigation. Originality/value ‐ There has only been one previous empirical study on the intellectual capital of constituent companies on the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index. This study adds to the literature as the second study in the field. It is the first comparative study across two time periods of the above-mentioned data.

Keywords: China; Hong Kong; Intellectual capital; Organizational performance; Value added

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/14691931111123412

Publication date: April 19, 2011

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