Intellectual capital as management fashion: a review and critique

Robin Fincham, Robin Roslender

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    82 Citations (Scopus)


    There is growing interest in the new techniques of intellectual capital accounting (ICA) as a method of measuring and reporting the range of human and knowledge-based factors that create sustained economic value. This paper suggests that viewing ICA as an aspect of expanded forms of management knowledge, and in particular as a ‘management fashion’, provides critical insight into the technique's occupational and organizational roles. The fashion perspective emphasizes the symbolic means of establishing the appeal of ideas to particular audiences, as well as the social mechanisms by which the dissemination of ideas takes place. The paper reviews the emerging debate on ICA, and interprets the professional literature as a narrative that reveals accountancy's keen interest in ICA as a mechanism of exploiting tacit knowledge. The suggestion is that the discipline's concerns with its own occupational situation and corporate relevance may be a reflection of the appeal of a development like ICA as much as any simple views of efficacy.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)781-795
    Number of pages15
    JournalEuropean Accounting Review
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2003


    Dive into the research topics of 'Intellectual capital as management fashion: a review and critique'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this