Explaining the demise of the intellectual capital statement in Denmark

Christian Nielsen, Robin Roslender, Stefan Schaper

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)
    266 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose - This paper provides an overview of the Danish Guideline Project and its subsequent fate within participating companies since its conclusion in late 2002. Particular focus is placed on the traction that the Intellectual Capital Statement approach to reporting, as the principal outcome of the project, was able to acquire in practice.

    – Following the reconstruction of the original sample of 102 companies that originally participated in the project, a survey using semi-structured interviews was pursued among 64 individuals who were identified as having some involvement with the guideline project and/or producing intellectual capital statements in these companies. In addition to the interviews, a range of secondary information has been used to supplement the primary data and research protocol.
    Findings – The project was found to have enjoyed only modest success and thereby failed to achieve any substantial traction among the participating companies and related public stakeholders. On balance, however, respondents believed that the exercise had been a positive experience, with benefits for the internal management of the companies, as well as for human capital (employees). The obstacles that radical initiatives such as the Intellectual Capital Statement continue to face should not be underestimated.
    Research limitations/implications – A single study of a specific initiative necessarily entails many limitations. It is conceivable that the views of some of the participants in the guideline project who are absent from the present sample may provide details of a different experience, although it is unlikely that these would seriously challenge the findings reported here.
    Originality/value – This study is the first to explore the fate of the critically acclaimed Intellectual Capital Statement approach among companies participating in the Danish Guideline Project.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)38-64
    Number of pages27
    JournalAccounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2017


    • Danish Guideline Project
    • financial reporting
    • intellectual capital
    • intellectual capital statement
    • management fashion
    • method theories


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