Measuring the Impacts of an IC Development Service: the Case of the Pietari Business Campus pp469-480
Intellectual capital (IC) development includes a wide set of activities focusing on the improvement of an organisation's intangible resources. However, it is often unclear what kind of impacts different IC initiatives have. The current literature lacks appropriate methods for identifying and measuring them. If it is not possible to assess the impact of various development activities it is difficult to justify IC investments or choose between alternative service providers. This paper, based on a case study, examines how to assess the impacts of an IC development initiative. The empirical research setting is the Pietari Business Campus, a knowledge‑intensive business service organisation providing various development services for its twelve member companies operating in the St. Petersburg region in Russia. In this paper, the literature is first examined to understand how the impacts of development activities can be assessed in different contexts. The characteristics of these approaches are then utilised to formulate the assessment methodology used in the case study. The empirical assessment consists of both numerical indicator data and subjective interview data. The case study showed that the activities and outputs can be measured quite accurately but that the outcomes are difficult to capture. The main challenge results from external changes taking place and making it difficult to observe the outcomes of development activities. Due to the challenging nature of the assessment task and the relatively low managerial priority of the issue (on the customers' side) it is suggested that subjective assessment methods may provide sufficient information in many cases. Although this paper is focused on IC development, there may be similar contexts in other knowledge‑intensive services in which the lessons of this study might be useful.
Keywords: effect, impact, intellectual capital, intellectual capital development, knowledge-intensive business service, measurement, service
Abstract: Marketing is a special challenge for KIBS. KIBS deliver knowledge embedded in services, consulting activities, and problem solving capability. Consequently, marketing must communicate the providers ability to manage knowledge exchanges with cus tomers. The implementation of an appropriate marketing strategy also implies a proper approach to auditing marketing activities, but marketing audit procedures and tools are generally targeted to manufacturing or retailing companies. This paper proposes a novel approach to marketing audit for KIBS companies that focuses on their relational and cognitive capabilities. It consists of a questionnaire‑based tool subdivided in sections, each of which considers a particular stage of the customer‑provider relati onship. The basic assumption is that the effective delivery of knowledge‑intensive services requires intense and continuous exchanges of knowledge between customer and provider, and this capability must fit the specific business environment in terms of ma rkets, competitors, etc. The marketing capability of a company is measured in terms of its ability to fruitfully interact with customers in the conditions of the particular operating environment. The questionnaire can help executives of KIBS companies to self assess the marketing positioning of their firms. Due to its easiness of use, it is particularly suitable for small companies. The paper describes the theoretical foundations on which the audit tool is based, a particular implementation for the ICT services sector, and the results of a test conducted with ICT companies.
Keywords: Keywords: knowledge marketing, marketing audit, knowledge-intensive business services, ICT companies, knowledge exchanges, practical tool