Articoli

management-control-cover-150x180

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

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.

management-control-cover-150x180

Intangibles and Value Creation in Network Agreements: Analysis of Italian firms

In the last few years, there has been an increase in interest of European policy-makers in promoting SMEs, assigning a key strategic role to networks as a means of improving levels of innovation and internationalization in SMEs. This led the Italian parliament to introduce legislation – with Law 33/2009 – for network agreements, which are a form of strategic alliances, largely used for intangible purposes. The aim of this work is to do an explorative study in order to ascertain to what extent the use of network agreements has contributed to increasing intangible resources in Italian firms and whether there is a correlation between the creation of intangibles and value creation in terms of improved financial performance of firms. From the analysis emerged that network agreements have a positive effect on the ability of Italian firms to create intangible resources, and there is a positive correlation between the increase in intangibles and value creation.

Fr

Regulating through the “Logic of Appropriateness” and the “Rhetoric of the Expert”: The Role of Consultants in the Case of Intangibles Reporting in Germany

The paper provides some insights into the rationales, processes and actors according to which Intangibles Reporting (IR) has reached a (soft) regulatory stage in the German business context since the mid 2000’s. It draws on the “logic of appropriateness” (March and Olsen, 1992; 1997) combined with the “rhetoric of the expert” (Czarniawska, 1997) in order to examine the documents published in relation to IR. The analysis demonstrates how in Germany this (soft) regulation of reporting of these resources has been mainly realized by a group of management consultants. It is of a particular interest that in the Guidelines they have devised and promoted, the ad hoc organizational figure, the moderator, that has been identified as central for the proposed intangibles reporting does not belong to the accounting domain. This way, the work contributes and expands on previous debates in relation to the “professional jurisdiction” that has made claim throughout the arena of Intangibles by accountants (Napier and Power, 1992; Power, 2006), illustrating an example of an alternative site in which its professionalization and regulation can occur (Cooper and Robson, 2006). Specifically, it is suggested that the actors and the ways in which regulation is created and perpetuated have sometimes to be disentangled from the ones created within the accounting field.

_

Keywords: Regulation, experts-Consultants, Germany, appropriateness, intangibles

Fr

An exploratory study of intangibles risk disclosure in annual reports of banking companies from the UK, US, Germany and Italy – Some descriptive insights

Intangibles are viewed as the key drivers in most industries, and current research shows that firms voluntarily disclose information about their investments in intangibles and their potential benefits. Yet little is known of the risks relating to such resources and the disclosures firms make about such risks. In order to obtain a more balanced and complete picture of firms’ activities, information about the risky side of their intangibles is also needed. This exploratory study provides some descriptive insights into intangibles-related risk disclosure in a sample of 16 large banks from the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), Germany and Italy. Annual report data is analyzed using the three Intellectual Capital dimensions. Study findings illustrate the variety of intangibles-related risk disclosure as demonstrated by the banks involved.

_

Keywords: Intangibles, risks related to intangibles, risk reporting, disclosure, banking sector, content analysis

Fr

The value relevance of non-financial performance indicators: new cues from the European fashion industry

Intangible assets and related performance measures assume increasing importance in valuation processes. Value relevance studies testify to their importance through an analysis of market stock prices. We aim to examine the value relevance of non-financial indicators in European fashion companies. The indicator selected is the “change in mono-brand stores”. Applying the models proposed by current literature, we have refuted the value relevance hypothesis. However, refining both the “operationalization” of the concepts and the related result analysis procedure, the value relevance is confirmed. In this way, we contribute to increasing the generalizability of this research trend and to fuel the debate concerning the standardization process of this information. In particular, following in the footsteps of the Gartner/EBRC project, supported by AICPA (Gartner-EBRC, 2010), our results can help the national and international standard setters to pinpoint the indicators that really matter for the fashion industry and standardize their communication.
_

Keywords: Intangibles, value relevance, financial measures, non-financial measures, fashion industry, mono-brand stores