Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to highlight how, and why, some small and medium‐sized high‐tech Japanese firms apply and assess the “intellectual asset‐based management” (IAbM) guidelines issued by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in October 2005. Design/methodology/approach – This is an interpretive case study linking semi‐structured interview and document data from four Japanese firms that have issued IAbM reports containing ideas about the processes of creating knowledge and routines in their organizations. Findings – The findings indicate that the firms studied essentially follow the guidelines, although pinpointing how this affects their internal management is difficult. The IAbM report is primarily used for external communication, with the capital market and with existing and potential customers. Practical implications – The practical implications found in this paper relate mainly to the four challenges found already in research by Johanson, i.e. uniqueness versus comparability, confidentiality versus accountability, market communication and management control. Originality/value – The unique features of this paper are found mainly in the empirical parts, where the guidelines and the sample of small and medium‐sized Japanese firms form an interesting and seldom used empirical point of departure. The findings concerning actual use and interpretation of a guideline could also, of course, be regarded as a distinctive aspect of this paper.
Journal of Intellectual Capital – Emerald Publishing
Published: Oct 16, 2009
Keywords: Knowledge management; Control; Japan; Marketing communications; Reports
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