The design, implementation and use of intellectual capital measurements: a case study

Author/s Maria Serena Chiucchi, Marco Giuliani, Stefano Marasca
Publishing Year 2014 Issue 2014/2
Language English Pages 26 P. 143-168 File size 128 KB
DOI 10.3280/MACO2014-002007
DOI is like a bar code for intellectual property: to have more infomation click here

Below, you can see the article first page

If you want to buy this article in PDF format, you can do it, following the instructions to buy download credits

Article preview

FrancoAngeli is member of Publishers International Linking Association, Inc (PILA), a not-for-profit association which run the CrossRef service enabling links to and from online scholarly content.

Some would argue that during the last few decades the studies on IC measurements have mainly been focused on the design and implementation of accounting concepts, methods and tools while little attention has been devoted to the understanding of what happens to the measurements after they are ‘produced’, i.e. how measurements are used. Stemming from these considerations, the aim of this paper is to reflect on the relationship between design, implementation and use of IC measurements in practice. In order to achieve this aim, we present a longitudinal case study referred to the design, implementation and use (or non use) of an IC measurement and reporting system. The main findings are the following. First, measuring can lead to the emergence of new managerial objects. Second, it seems that in the IC discourse numbers are relevant not only for sizing but also for creating an IC dimension to be managed. Third, the use of measurements do not necessarily follow their production but can be instead, simultaneous. With reference to single indicators, the following considerations emerge. First, the inclusion of ‘old’ indicators within the IC measurement system can lead to a change in their meaning. Second, the use of the measurements depends on how they are labelled, too. Third, in an IC project, more than the ‘result’ it is the activated understanding and learning process that matters.

Keywords: Intellectual capital, intangibles, use, design, implementation, measurements.

  1. Abernethy M.A., Horne M., Lillis A.M., Malina M.A. and Selto F.H. (2005), A multi-method approach to building causal performance maps from expert knowledge, Management Accounting Research, 16, 2, pp. 135-155. DOI: 10.1016/j.mar.2005.03.003
  2. Anderson-Gough F., Grey C. and Robson K. (2001), Tests of time: Organizational time-reckoning and the making of accountants in two multi-national accounting firms, Accounting, Organization and Society, 26, 2, pp. 99-122. DOI: 10.1016/S0361-3682(00)00019-2
  3. Andriessen D.G. (2004), Making sense of intellectual capital, Burlington, MA, Butterworth-Heinemann.
  4. Argyris C., Putnam R. and McLain Smith D. (1985), Action science: Concepts, methods, and skills for research and intervention, San Francisco, Jossey-Bass.
  5. Bourne M., Mills J., Wilcox M., Neely A. and Platts K. (2000), Designing, implementing and updating performance measurment systems, International Journal of Operation & Production Management, 20, 7, pp. 754-771. DOI: 10.1108/01443570010330739
  6. Catasús B., Errson S., Gröjer J.-E. and Wallentin F.Y. (2007), What gets measured gets... On indicating, mobilizing and acting, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 20, 4, pp. 505-521. DOI: 10.1108/09513570710762566
  7. Catasús B. and Gröjer J.-E. (2006), Indicators: On visualizing, classifying and dramatizing, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 7, 2, pp. 187-203. DOI: 10.1108/14691930610661854
  8. Chaminade C. and Roberts H. (2003), What it means is what it does: A comparative analysis of implementing intellectual capital in Norway and Spain, European Accounting Review, 12, 4, pp. 733-751. DOI: 10.1080/09638180310001628446
  9. Chiucchi M.S. (2008), Exploring the benefits of measuring intellectual capital. The Aimag case study, Human Systems Management, 27, 3, pp. 217-230.
  10. Chiucchi M.S. (2013a), Intellectual capital accounting in action: Enhancing learning through interventionist research, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 14, 1, pp. 48-68. DOI: 10.1108/14691931311289011
  11. Chiucchi M.S. (2013b), Measuring and reporting intellectual capital: Lessons learnt from some interventionist research projects, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 14, 3, pp. 395-413. DOI: 10.1108/JIC-03-2013-0036
  12. Coghlan D. and Brannick T. (2001), Doing Action Research in Your Own Organization, London.
  13. Cuganesan S. (2005), Intellectual capital-in-action and value creation. A case study of knowledge transformation in an innovation process, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 6, 3, pp. 357-373. DOI: 10.1108/14691930510611102
  14. Cuganesan S., Boedker C. and Guthrie J. (2007), Enrolling discourse consumers to affect material intellectual capital practice, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 20, 6, pp. 883-911. DOI: 10.1108/09513570710830281
  15. De Santis F. and Giuliani M. (2013), A look on the other side: Investigating intellectual liabilites, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 14, 2, pp. 212-226. DOI: 10.1108/14691931311323850
  16. Dumay J. (2009), Intellectual capital measurement: A critical approach, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 10, 2, pp. 190-210. DOI: 10.1108/14691930910952614
  17. Dumay J. (2012), Grand theories as barriers to using IC concepts, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 13, 1, pp. 4-15. DOI: 10.1108/14691931211196187
  18. Dumay J. (2013), The third stage of IC: Towards a new IC future and beyond, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 14, 1, pp. 5-9. DOI: 10.1108/14691931311288986
  19. Dumay J. and Rooney J. (2011), Measuring for managing? An IC practice case study, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 12, 3, pp. 344-355. DOI: 10.1108/14691931111154670
  20. Edvinsson L. and Malone M.S. (1997), Intellectual Capital, New York, Harper Business.
  21. Ferreira A. and Otley D. (2009), The design and use of performance management systems: An extended framework for analysis, Management Accounting Research, 20, 4, pp. 263-282. DOI: 10.1016/j.mar.2009.07.003
  22. Giuliani M. (2013a), Intellectual capital: An accounting change perspective, in Garcia L., Rodriguez‐Castellanos, Barrutia‐Guenaga A. and Barrutia‐Guenaga J. (Eds), 5th European Conference on Intellectual Capital - Bilbao, Spain, 11‐12 April 2013, Academic Conferences and Publishing International, Reading, UK, pp. 174-181.
  23. Giuliani M. (2013b), Not all sunshine and roses: Investigating intellectual liabilities “in action”, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 14, 1, pp. 127-144. DOI: 10.1108/14691931311289057
  24. Giuliani M. and Marasca S. (2011), Construction and valuation of intellectual capital: A case study, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 12, 3, pp. 377-391. DOI: 10.1108/14691931111154698
  25. Giuliani M. and Skoog M. (2012), The relevance of time in accounting. The case of intangibles from a management accounting perspective, paper presented at the 35th European Accounting Association Annual Conference, 9-11 May, Ljubljana, available at:, (accessed 18 July 2012).
  26. Guthrie J., Petty R. and Johanson U. (2001), Sunrise in the knowledge economy: Managing, measuring, and reporting intellectual capital, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 14, 4, pp. 365-384. DOI: 10.1108/EUM0000000005869
  27. Guthrie J., Ricceri F. and Dumay J. (2012), Reflections and projections: A decade of intellectual capital accounting research, British Accounting Review, 44, 2, pp. 68-82. DOI: 10.1016/
  28. Hines R.D. (1988), Financial accounting: In communicating reality, we construct reality, Accounting, Organization and Society, 13, 3, pp. 251-261. DOI: 10.1016/0361-3682(88)90003-7
  29. Hopwood A.G. and Miller P. (1994), Accounting as social and institutional practice, Cambridge University Press.
  30. Ijiri Y. (1967), The Foundations of Accounting Measurement, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs.
  31. Johanson U. and Henningsson J. (2007), The archaeology of intellectual capital: A battle between concepts, in Chaminade C. and Catasús B. (Eds), Intellectual capital revisited: Paradoxes in the knowledge intensive organization, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, pp. 8-30.
  32. Johanson U., Martensson M. and Skoog M. (2001a), Mobilizing change through the management control of intangibles, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 26, 7-8, pp. 715-733. DOI: 10.1016/S0361-3682(01)00024-
  33. Johanson U., Mårtensson M. and Skoog M. (2001b), Measuring to understand intangible performance drivers, European Accounting Review, 10, 3, pp. 407-437. DOI: 10.1080/09638180126791
  34. Jönsson S. and Lukka K. (2005), Doing interventionist research in management accounting - GRI report 2005:6., Gothenburg Research Institute, Göteborg.
  35. Kaplan R.S. (1998), Innovation Action Research: Creating new management theory and practice, Journal of management accounting research, 10, 2, pp. 89-118.
  36. Kasanen E., Lukka K. and Siitonen A. (1993), The constructive approach in management accounting research, Journal of Management Accounting Research, 5, pp. 243-264.
  37. Kerr S. (1995), On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B, Academy of Management Executive, 9, 1, pp. 7-14.
  38. Labro E. and Tuomela T.-S. (2003), On bringing more action into management accounting research: Process considerations based on two constructive case studies, European Accounting Review, 12, 3, pp. 409-442. DOI: 10.1080/0963818032000083559
  39. Llewellyn S. (1994), Managing the boundary. How accounting is implicated in maintaining the organization, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 7, 4, pp. 4-23. DOI: 10.1108/09513579410069821
  40. Lukka K. (2005), Approaches to case research in management accounting: The nature of empirical intervention and theory linkage, in Jönsson S. and Mouritsen J. (Eds), Accounting in Scandinavia - The northern lights, Malmö, Liber & Copenhagen Business School Press, pp. 375-399.
  41. Marr B. and Chatzkel J. (2004), Intellectual capital at the crossroads, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 5, 2, pp. 224-229. DOI: 10.1108/14691930410533650
  42. Marr B., Schiuma G. and Neely A. (2004), The dynamics of value creation: Mapping your intellectual performance drivers, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 5, 2, pp. 224-229. DOI: 10.1108/14691930410533722
  43. Mårtensson M. (2009), Recounting counting and accounting. From political arithmetic to measuring intangibles and back, Critical perspectives on accounting, 20, 7, pp. 835-846. DOI: 10.1016/
  44. Meritum (2002), Proyecto Meritum: Guidelines for Managing and Reporting Intangibles, Madrid, European Commission.
  45. Middel R., Coghlan D., Coghlan P., Brennan L. and McNichols T. (2006), Action research in collaborative improvement, International Journal of Technology Management, 33, 1, pp. 67-91. DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2006.008192
  46. Mouritsen J. (2006), Problematising intellectual capital research: Ostensive versus performative IC, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 19, 6, pp. 820-841. DOI: 10.1108/09513570610709881
  47. Mouritsen J. (2009), Classification, measurement and the ontology of intellectual capital entities, Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, 13, 2, pp. 154-162. DOI: 10.1108/14013380910968665
  48. Mouritsen J. and Larsen H.T. (2005), The 2nd wave of knowledge management: The management control of knowledge resources through intellectual capital information, Management Accounting Research, 16, 3, pp. 371-394. DOI: 10.1016/j.mar.2005.06.006
  49. Mouritsen J., Larsen H.T. and Bukh P.N.D. (2001), Intellectual capital and the ‘capable firm’: Narrating, visualising and numbering for managing knowledge, Accounting Organizations and Society, 26, 7-8, pp. 735-762. DOI: 10.1016/S0361-3682(01)00022-8
  50. Neely A. and Bourne M. (2000), Why measurement initiatives fail, Measuring business excellence, 4, 4, pp. 3-7. DOI: 10.1108/13683040010362283
  51. O’Donnell D., Henriksen L.B. and Voelpel S.C. (2006), Guest editorial: Becoming critical on intellectual capital, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 7, 1, pp. 5-11. DOI: 10.1108/14691930610639732
  52. Otley D. (1999), Performance management: A framework for management control systems research, Management Accounting Research, 10, 4, pp. 363-382. DOI: 10.1006/mare.1999.0115
  53. Petty R. and Guthrie J. (2000), Intellectual capital literature review: Measurement, reporting and management, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 1, 2, pp. 155-176. DOI: 10.1108/14691930010348731
  54. Potter B.N. (2005), Accounting as a social and institutional practice: Perspectives to enrich our understanding of accounting change, Abacus, 41, 3, pp. 265-289. DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-6281.2005.00182.x
  55. Roos J., Roos G., Dragonetti N.C. and Edvinsson L. (1997), Intellectual Capital: Navigating in the New Business Landscape, Basingstoke, Macmillan.
  56. Roslender R. and Fincham R. (2001), Thinking critically about intellectual capital accounting, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 14, 4, pp. 383-398. DOI: 10.1108/09513570110403425
  57. Roslender R. and Fincham R. (2004), IC: Who counts, controls?, Accounting and the Public Interest, 4, pp. 1-23.
  58. Shen J. and Reuer J.J. (2005), Adverse selection in acquisitions of small manufacturing firms: A comparison of private and public markets, Small Business Economics, 24, 4, pp. 393-407. DOI: 10.1007/s11187-005-5332-y
  59. Simons R. (2000), Performance Measurement & Control Systems for Implementing Strategy, New Jersey, Prentice Hall.
  60. Skoog M. (2003), Visualising value creation through the management control of intangibles, Journal of Intellectual Capital, 4, 4, pp. 487-504. DOI: 10.1108/14691930310504527
  61. Stewart T.A. (1997), Intellectual Capital, New York, NY, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group.
  62. Sveiby K.E. (1997), The Intangible Assets Monitor, Journal of Human Resource Costing & Accounting, 2, 1, pp. 73-97. DOI: 10.1108/eb029036
  63. Tayles M., Bramley A., Adsead N. and Farr J. (2002), Dealing with the management of intellectual capital, Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, 15, 2, pp. 251-267. DOI: 10.1108/09513570210425574
  64. Vollmer H. (2007), How to do more with numbers: Elementary stakes, framing, keying, and the three-dimensional character of numerical signs, Accounting, Organizations and Society, 32, 6, pp. 577-600. DOI: 10.1016/j.aos.2006.10.001

  • The First Outstanding 50 Years of “Università Politecnica delle Marche” Maria Serena Chiucchi, Marco Giuliani, Simone Poli, Marco Gatti, Marco Montemari, Luca Del Bene, pp.165 (ISBN:978-3-030-33878-7)
  • Implementazione di Sistemi di Misurazione delle Performance nelle PMI: elementi di analisi nella prospettiva del cambiamento organizzativo Nicola Castellano, Lorenzo Leto, in MANAGEMENT CONTROL 1/2021 pp.129
    DOI: 10.3280/MACO2021-001007
  • Il contributo del management alla definizione della strategia di decentramento del Servizio Sanitario: il caso del Servizio Sanitario Tunisino Niccolò Persiani, Martina Giusti, Maria Jose Caldes, Afef Hagi, in MECOSAN 122/2022 pp.85
    DOI: 10.3280/mesa2022-122oa14619
  • Business succession and Intellectual Capital Management in family firms Giovanni Bronzetti, Romilda Mazzotta, in MANAGEMENT CONTROL 1/2015 pp.45
    DOI: 10.3280/MACO2015-001003
  • High Performance Through Innovation Process Management in SMEs. Evidence from the Italian wine sector Simona Alfiero, Laura Broccardo, Massimo Cane, Alfredo Esposito, in MANAGEMENT CONTROL 3/2018 pp.87
    DOI: 10.3280/MACO2018-003005
  • Business Development and Economic Governance in Southeastern Europe Besa Ombashi, Denita Cepiku, Niccolò Persiani, pp.339 (ISBN:978-3-031-05350-4)
  • Il contributo dei sistemi di RM e PM alla sostenibilità integrata: il caso B&C Speakers Lorenzo Leto, Diletta Vito, in MANAGEMENT CONTROL 3/2024 pp.113
    DOI: 10.3280/MACO2023-003006
  • La sostenibilità ambientale in azienda: quale relazione tra disclosure volontaria e gestione interna? Lino Cinquini, Emilio Passetti, Andrea Tenucci, in MANAGEMENT CONTROL 2/2016 pp.15
    DOI: 10.3280/MACO2016-002002
  • Strategic performance management systems in Italian banks. A research note Francesca Francioli, in MANAGEMENT CONTROL 2/2018 pp.155
    DOI: 10.3280/MACO2018-002008
  • The First Outstanding 50 Years of “Università Politecnica delle Marche” Francesco Maria Chelli, Gian Luca Gregori, Stefano Marasca, Luca Papi, pp.1 (ISBN:978-3-030-33878-7)
  • Interventionist research in management accounting: promoting engagement through face-to-face dialogues Sonia Quarchioni, Maria Serena Chiucchi, in Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal /2023 pp.1441
    DOI: 10.1108/AAAJ-02-2019-3901

Maria Serena Chiucchi, Marco Giuliani, Stefano Marasca, The design, implementation and use of intellectual capital measurements: a case study in "MANAGEMENT CONTROL" 2/2014, pp 143-168, DOI: 10.3280/MACO2014-002007