Intellectual capital is the intangible value of a business, covering its people (human capital), the value relating to its relationships (relational capital), and everything that is left when the employees go home (structural capital), of which intellectual property (IP) is but one component. It is the sum of everything everybody in a company knows that gives it a competitive edge. The term is used in academia in an attempt to account for the value of intangible assets not listed explicitly on a company’s balance sheets. On a national level intellectual capital refers to national intangible capital, NIC.
A second meaning that is used in academia and was adopted in large corporations is focused on the recycling of knowledge via knowledge management and intellectual capital management (ICM). Creating, shaping and updating the stock of intellectual capital requires the formulation of a strategic vision, which blends together all three dimensions of intellectual capital within the organisational context through exploration, exploitation, measurement, and disclosure. Intellectual capital is used in the context of assessing the wealth of organizations. A metric for the value of intellectual capital is the amount by which the enterprise value of a firm exceeds the value of its tangible (physical and financial) assets. Directly visible on corporate books is capital embodied in its physical assets and financial capital; however all three make up the value of an enterprise. Measuring the real value and the total performance of intellectual capital’s components is a critical part of running a company in the knowledge economy and Information Age. Understanding the intellectual capital in an enterprise allows leveraging of its intellectual assets. For a corporation, the result will optimize its stock price.
The IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standards) committee developed the International Accounting System 38 with the purpose of prescribing the accounting treatment for intangible assets. IAS 38.8 defines an intangible asset as an identifiable non-monetary asset without physical substance. An asset is a resource that is controlled by the entity as the result of past events (for example purchase or self-creation) and from which future economic benefits (inflows of cash or other benefits) are expected.
INTELLECTUAL CAPITAL 7:1