Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Intellectual capital management and reporting in European higher education institutions

Yolanda Ramírez Córcoles


Purpose: This paper analyses the importance of intellectual capital management as instruments to face the new challenges in European universities. The aim of this paper is to provide assistance initiating universities in the process of developing their ability to identify, measure and manage their intangible assets.

Design/methodology/approach: A review of the most important intellectual capital management initiatives at European universities is shown.

Findings: The experience gained from the case studies provides a basis to understand how European universities are measuring and managing their intellectual capital.

Practical implications: This study helps to define the steps to follow in developing a model of intellectual capital management at universities. In this sense, a necessary starting point would be the definition and diffusion of the organisation’s strategic objectives. Then, critical intangibles related to these objectives should be identified and the causal network of relationship among them should be established. Afterwards, a set of indicators is defined and developed for each intangible. Finally, a periodic review of the model to adapt to new challenges should be carried out.

Originality/value: The intellectual capital approach becomes critical at universities, mainly due to the fact that “knowledge” is the main output as well as input in these institutions. Despite its importance, intellectual capital at universities is scarcely dealt with in a specific manner. This paper offers practical help to universities to develop means to identify, measure, manage and report on their intangible assets.

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