Fostering strategic thinking and policy priorities setting (at European, national, regional, corporate levels), a field of inquiry on investments in intangibles should be considered of critical importance within a new, knowledge economy.
Rethinking the EU policy/Lisbon strategy objectives aiming to make Europe “the most competitive economy in the world”, two interacting issues are to be dealt with by individuals, organizations, governments: KNOWLEDGE UNDERSTANDING (to fill gaps between knowledge building and sustainable knowledge transfer to users) and KNOWLEDGE VALUATION ( to explore transparent decision-making related to investments in intangibles).
"non-material factors that contribute to enterprise performance in the production of goods or the provision of services, or that are expected to generate future economic benefits to the entities or individuals that control their deployment"
(A working definition by the European HLEG on the Intangible Economy (2000)
European Observatory on Intangible Assets
THE INTANGIBLE ECONOMY
IMPACT AND POLICY ISSUES
Report of the European High Level Expert
Group on the Intangible Economy
By Clark Eustace
57. Defining intangibles.
"(...) the boundaries, constituents and definitions of the set
according to the perspectives of the different interest groups - for example whether we are dealing with accounting concepts, or measures of national income and wealth, or how to manage and extract value from key business investments and assets.
58. Some interest groups - notably the accounting standards bodies - necessarily limit their definition of intangibles to those factors over which legal rights have been assigned, such as patents, marks and copyrights. We took the view that control is more important than ownership and that any definition should encompass factors such as competencies, skills and know-how, networks and business relationships, as well as external factors arising from the legal, administrative and regulatory environment. The locus of interest has also been expanded through the use of scorecards36 for intellectual capital reporting by corporate innovators in this field, such as Skandia, Celemi and Ramboll. As a working definition, the HLEG took
intangibles to be:
"non-material factors that contribute to enterprise performance in the production of goods or the provision of services, or that are expected to generate future economic benefits to the entities or individuals that control their deployment "
Building intangible value from the outside in
Dave Ulrich and Norm Smallwood
Human Resources Australia's information resource on HR issues