Academic journal article International Journal of Business

Measuring Immaterial Capital for Organizations Using Multicriteria Reference Point Model

Academic journal article International Journal of Business

Measuring Immaterial Capital for Organizations Using Multicriteria Reference Point Model

Article excerpt


The identification of crucial knowledge to be capitalized and especially crucial tacit knowledge is a complex process because knowledge cannot be measured quantitatively. In this paper, we propose a methodology based on multi-criteria decision aid for evaluating knowledge that needs to be capitalized using a non compensatory aggregation procedure based on reference point model. Our method allows taking into account the decision makers' preferences that can be different or even contradictory while exploiting and managing their multiple points of view to evaluate knowledge.

Keywords: Information and knowledge; Analysis of collective decision making; Conflict resolution

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)


The necessity to capitalize knowledge produced and used in firms has increased rapidly these last years. As said by Lee and Van den Steen (2010), "know-how is a key resource for business, and know-how management is a potential lever for competitive advantage." Maintaining this capital is a powerful mean to improve the level of performance of the firm. In order to create, preserve and share knowledge in firms, knowledge management has been occupying since the beginning of the nineties more and more important space within organizations. Thus, companies should invest in methods and tools in order to preserve knowledge especially those of tacit nature. Researchers in knowledge management (e.g., Davenport et al., 1998; Nonaka and Takeuchi, 1995; O'Learly, 1998; Sanchez, 1997; Schreiber et al., 2000) have been focusing on the problems of acquisition, preservation and transfer of knowledge. However, considering the large amount of knowledge to be preserved, the firm must first determine the specific knowledge that should be targeted by capitalization. We should indeed focus on only the so-called "crucial knowledge", i.e. the risk of their loss and the cost of their (re)creation is considered to be important. In other words their contribution to reach the firm objectives is very important and their use duration is long (Saad et al., 2005).

Previous research works (Saad et al., 2005; Grundstein, 2000) also revealed the interest of the identification of crucial knowledge. Not enough works exist concerning the identification of knowledge on which it is necessary to capitalize (Grundstein, 2000; Tseng and Huang, 2005), thus, (Saad, 2009) have proposed a multicriteria methodology based on DRSA (Dominance-based Rough Set Approach) (Greco et al., 2001) to identify crucial knowledge in order to justify a situation where knowledge capitalization is advisable. The objective of this methodology is to elicit the preference of the decision makers. This method is supported by a decision support system called K-DSS (Saad et al., 2005; Saad and Chakhar, 2009). Moreover, because of the large amount of knowledge to analyze, the large number of decision makers involved in the assignments of knowledge, contradictory opinions that decision makers can have (that lead to inconsistencies in the shared knowledge base) and also usually hard delay constraints of projects, it is necessary to automate the resolution of conflicts between decision makers.

The aim of this paper is to propose a multicriteria procedure to evaluate immaterial capital principally knowledge using a non compensatory aggregation model to cope with inconsistency in decision rules in our decision support system.

The rest of the paper is structured as follows. Section 2 provides an overview on the related works. Section 3 presents the methodology used to identify knowledge to be capitalized. In section 4, we present the multicriteria procedure that we propose to evaluate knowledge. Section 5 summarizes our contribution.


In this section, we describe three methods: GAMETH framework (Grundstein, 2000; Grundstein et al., 2006), the method proposed by Tseng and Huang (2005), and the method of identification of critical knowledge proposed in Ermine et al. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.