Title: How much does firm-specific intellectual capital vary? Cross-industry and cross-national comparison

Authors: Josune Sáenz; Nekane Aramburu; Marta Buenechea; Mika Vanhala; Paavo Ritala

Addresses: Deusto Business School, University of Deusto, Camino de Mundaiz 50, 20012 San Sebastián, Spain ' Deusto Business School, University of Deusto, Camino de Mundaiz 50, 20012 San Sebastián, Spain ' Deusto Business School, University of Deusto, Camino de Mundaiz 50, 20012 San Sebastián, Spain ' School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FI-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland ' School of Business and Management, Lappeenranta University of Technology, P.O. Box 20, FI-53851 Lappeenranta, Finland

Abstract: This study examines the level of firm-specific intellectual capital (IC) and then goes on to find out whether there are differences across national and industry contexts in this regard. The study focuses on firms in two European countries, Finland and Spain, and on low- and high-tech sectors. Utilising survey data, we analysed six different categories of intellectual capital with multiple-item scales, tested for their reliability and validity, and compared the means of IC categories between high- and low-tech firms in Finland and Spain. The findings show that the level of IC in high-tech firms is sufficiently similar in Finland and Spain, while in the low-tech sector there are major differences. Furthermore, we find that in Spain there are more major differences in IC between high- and low-tech firms than in the case of Finnish firms. Overall, this study provides new understanding of how IC varies across countries and industries.

Keywords: intellectual capital; human capital; structural capital; relational capital; renewal capital; entrepreneurial capital; national culture; cross-country comparison; Finland; Spain; cross-industry comparison; high-tech indutry; low-tech industry; firm-specific; entrepreneurship; high technology; low technology.

DOI: 10.1504/EJIM.2017.082529

European Journal of International Management, 2017 Vol.11 No.2, pp.129 - 152

Received: 09 Mar 2015
Accepted: 30 Nov 2015

Published online: 20 Feb 2017 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article