Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Bridging Intellectual Capital and the Competitiveness of Nations

Academic journal article Management & Marketing

Bridging Intellectual Capital and the Competitiveness of Nations

Article excerpt

Abstract. This paper aims to explore the correlations between the competitiveness of nations, the spread of the knowledge-based economies and the way national intellectual capital is exerted. Following an exploratory data analysis, the study answers the following question: does IC truly affect the competitiveness of the countries? Deductive reasoning and a blend of qualitative and quantitative methods are used in the study. The paper analyzes the national IC along four dimensions: human capital, market capital, process capital and renewal capital. A pool of 10 countries is scrutinized through 23 indicators, pertaining to these dimensions. Results show that countries in the highest stage of development also rank high at innovation and competitiveness, which suggests that it is a positive correlation between these three variables. The countries in lower stages of development have weak positions, which means are not able to sustain reliable sources of competitive advantage. Moreover, their innovation patterns show a diminished potential for creating added value through developing new products and services. The originality of this study arises from attempting to shade more light regarding the importance of IC in the development of the countries in an inclusive manner.

Keywords: competitive development, national intellectual capital, innovation, wealth.

1. Introduction

Economic development is a topic that constantly has been tackled in research because the wealth and prosperity of a nation is a mutual concern for both society and policymakers. In the past two decades, the competitiveness of nations concept emerged as a new paradigm of economic development. This study investigates the hypothesis that knowledge and intellectual capital, innovation and entrepreneurship are key drivers of economic development and renewal. Unlike traditional resources, human-related resources are steady and their value can be significantly increased. In the knowledge economy, the value of organizations and individuals is directly related to their knowledge and intellectual capital. Especially in the developed countries, the global trends show a clear transition towards an economy based on intellectual capital assets. These countries have most chances to benefit from using and incorporating them in their economic activities. However, as developing countries strive to improve their local factors, they are also searching for ways to broaden their competitive advantages in the international competition. Lately, there has been a strong emphasis on the role of regional development as a key driver for national wealth. Around the world, authorities in charge of regional development focus more and more on computing maps of regional knowledge assets and IC. Such tools may bring a real edge in terms of implementing policies that would sustain economic and social progress. New political agendas and scientists focus on finding methods to quantify the knowledge capital of nations, to boost it and to capitalize it in terms of collective wealth. Development and competitiveness arise due to a fine mixture between skills of individuals, institutions that sustain a healthy innovative environment and proper legislation that supports entrepreneurship. Internationally successful industries with high productivity are those that in which human and structural capital interact in a synergic way. In the global economy, IC research has the potential to make an important contribution to understanding new facets of competitiveness. The development of reliable methodologies for identifying, assessing and measuring national IC may help in terms of coping in the knowledge economy.

The main hypothesis of this study is that development, IC and national competitiveness are strongly connected. This paper aims to deepen the discussion related to this liaison and seek for evidence of a certain correlation between these three concepts. The purpose of the study is to outline how the national IC of a country influences the level of economic development. …

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