Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify and discuss the key policy challenges for OECD countries both at macro and micro level to develop and use their intellectual assets in order to obtain economic returns. Design/methodology/approach – The paper takes the approach of econometrics studies to gauge the impact of intellectual assets on national accounts and a stocktake of all existing initiatives, frameworks and guidelines relating to extra‐financial corporate reporting on intellectual assets. Findings – The paper provides macro data on the contribution of investments in intellectual assets to productivity and economic growth in OECD countries and presents the challenges in terms of corporate reporting and corporate governance that result from the increasing importance of intellectual assets for growth and competitiveness. It then provides a stock‐take of existing guidelines and frameworks in OECD countries that encourage companies to report on their intellectual assets and their strategies to create value. Practical implications – The paper provides policy recommendations to better understand the role of intellectual assets, improve their contribution to economic growth, and to enhance information on intellectual assets and the diffusion of good practices. Originality/value – The value of the paper is that it contributes to mitigating the difficulties to assess the contribution of intellectual assets on national accounts that is crucial to obtain an accurate picture of economic growth, downturns and investments. It also contributes to the debate on how to overcome the limits of accounting standards to recognize intellectual assets so as to improve companies' valuation and lower their cost of capital.
Journal of Intellectual Capital – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 18, 2008
Keywords: Intellectual capital; Intangible assets; Corporate communications; Innovation; Competitive strategy