Some Unintended Consequences of Metaphors: The Case of Capital in Intellectual Capital Research

Author/s Giuseppe Marzo
Publishing Year 2014 Issue 2013/3-4
Language English Pages 30 P. 111-140 File size 255 KB
DOI 10.3280/FR2013-003006
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The paper focuses on the consequences that the metaphorical use of the concept of capital can generate on research on Intellectual Capital. Consequences here analysed refer to: 1) the understanding of IC as being composed of homogenous and separable units; 2) those that are assets; 3) those expected to be under the proprietorship of someone; and 4) those expressible in monetary terms on the balance sheet. The analysis of consequences also offers some insights into overcoming the capital metaphor in favour of a sharper differentiation between the concepts at the basis of the traditional notion of capital, and the ones at the basis of IC.

Keywords: Metaphor; theory of firm; resource-based; view. First submission: 26 March 2013 accepted: 5 March 2014.

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