The contribution of business model mapping to intellectual capital measurement: a case study

Montemari Marco, Chiucchi Maria Serena

Although several frameworks for measuring and reporting Intellectual Capital (IC) have been developed over the past two decades, their actual use in practice is still limited. The Business Model (BM) concept has been recently identified as a holistic and overall platform within which to refocus the IC debate. Despite several conceptual linkages between IC and BM concepts, both the contribution of BM to IC measurement and the process that leads from BM mapping to building IC measures need to be investigated. The purpose of this paper is to explore how BM mapping can support and favor IC measurement. In order to achieve this objective, the paper presents a reflective analysis of a single, in-depth case study referred to an Italian company which leveraged on its BM to design and implement IC measures. The actual research project was conducted using an interventionist approach. The case analysis shows the benefits of using BM to build IC measures. The paper points out that BM clarifies which IC elements are of utmost importance and what role they play in the company’s value creation process, thus ensuring that IC indicators are tightly connected to the company’s conception of value creation. Moreover, the paper sheds light on the process that leads from BM to measurement. More specifically, the paper points out how strategic themes play a crucial role by acting as a bridge between BM and the items to be measured. It also shows an additional contribution of the BM to the measurement process; BM and related strategic themes ensure a high level of integration and consistency between departmental measurement systems and a company-wide measurement system, and among the departmental measurement systems themselves.

Key-Words: Intellectual capital, business model, business model configurations, strategic themes, departmental reports, case study