Title: Intellectual capital and business performances in Italian firms: an empirical investigation

Authors: Rinaldo Pietrantonio; Gianpaolo Iazzolino

Addresses: School of Economics, Henan University, Jinming Dadao, Kaifeng, Henan, 475004, China ' DMEME, University of Calabria, Via Pietro Bucci 46/C, 87036 Rende (CS), Italy

Abstract: In this article, we show that efficiency gains related to the intellectual capital (IC) can raise the performances of the firm more than efficiency gains related to physical/financial capital (CE.) Furthermore, we show that this can be the case not only for knowledge-intensive firms but also for capital-intensive firms. Adopting a variant of Pulic's (2000) value added intellectual coefficient (VAIC) we analysed a sample of 787 Italian firms operating in service-related industries and manufacturing-related industries over the period 2000-2010. We found that IC-related efficiency gains of 1% can raise the returns on assets (ROA) up to 0.7% and the cash-flows to operational revenues (CF) up to 21.1%. Finally, we estimated that CE-related efficiency gains produce negligible effects. These results are consistent across industries and fade away within two years.

Keywords: intellectual capital; financial performance; knowledge-intensive firms; business performances; Italy; VAIC; efficiency gains; return on assets; ROA; cash flow; operational revenue.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKMS.2014.067218

International Journal of Knowledge Management Studies, 2014 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.211 - 243

Received: 30 Sep 2012
Accepted: 24 Aug 2013

Published online: 14 Feb 2015 *

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