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Journal Article

Intellectual Capital and Organizational Performance: an Empirical Study of the Pharmaceutical Industry  pp357-362

Alka Bramhandkar, Scott Erickson, Ian Applebee

© Jan 2008 Volume 5 Issue 4, Editor: Charles Despres, pp347 - 550

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Abstract

This paper directly measures the impact of intellectual capital management on organizational performance. Although this is an area widely studied in the literature, the nature of most of the work to date is to focus on specific aspects of intellectual capital (human, structural, or relational capital) and their individual impact on performance. This study specifically looks to identify firms that manage overall IC, whatever its nature, better than competitors. We then ask the question, do these firms actually see market results better than those of competitors? In order to do this type of analysis, we felt a need to focus on a specific industry. If wide differences do exist between industries in terms of physical capital needs and human, structural, or relational capital needs, then random firms are harder to compare. Those within a single industry, such as the pharmaceutical firms studied here, should have relatively similar structures in relation to all these needs. We collected data on 139 firms in the drugs industry. We sorted and divided the sample according to market capitalization and book value (a common measure of intellectual capital) then looked at return on assets, investment, and equity, as well as beta. By one measure, firms with the highest level of intangible assets clearly performed better than those with lower levels. The high level firms had significantly better returns and significantly less variability in stock price. According to a second measure, the results were less convincing but still lent support to further research using this methodology. So, as a first cut, this study had very promising results. We intend to repeat it for other industries, experimenting with the measures and means of cutting the data. Although industry‑specific is obviously the initial way to go, we also intend to perform some cross‑industry comparisons with the measures we develop. We believe the results of the full research program will be significant to practice and will provide substantial support to those championing better management of intangible assets within firms.

 

Keywords: intellectual capital, knowledge management, organizational performance, marketbook ratio, ROA, ROE, ROI, beta

 

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