Intellectual capital: who counts, controls?

Robin Roslender, Robin Fincham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Intellectual capital and related topics including intangibles, innovation, and knowledge have rapidly climbed the management research agenda. Their significance lies in the contribution these assets make to sustained value creation, a central mantra within contemporary business strategy. A premium has been placed on the successful management of such assets, and within this program, the accountancy profession has found itself challenged to devise effective means of counting and controlling them. Driven by a distinctly managerial agenda, the majority of developments within intellectual capital accounting to date have exhibited the negative characteristics that critical accounting researchers associate with the extension of the prevailing accounting calculus into new fields. Nevertheless, in some recent contributions there are indications of how an alternative, more progressive approach, that of intellectual capital self-accounts, might be fashioned. As a consequence, the emergence of intellectual capital may yet provide an opportunity to return to the task of accounting for labor. This aspect of the critical accounting project has become less evident as researchers seeking to promote enabling accounting have directed their focus on a range of “other voices” to be encouraged to tell their own stories “from below.”
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-23
    Number of pages23
    JournalAccounting and the Public Interest
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2004


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