Enrolling discourse consumers to affect material intellectual capital practice

Suresh Cuganesan, Christina Boedker, James Guthrie*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical account of the discourse-practice nexus relating to an accounting for intellectual capital (IC) at an Australian public sector organisation (LandsNSW). Design/methodology/approach - The paper is a case study. Data collection techniques comprised semi-structured interviews, in situ observation of meetings and internal presentations, and reviews of documents such as internal memos, strategic plans, IC statements and business performance and annual reports. Findings - Although ambiguity in discourse may reduce its ability to prescribe particular practices, the paper argues that such qualities allow discourse producers greater flexibility in attempting to shape action. At LandsNSW, IC discourse was given shape by those mobilising it. Specifically, constructing IC as a potential solution to practical concerns made IC more attractive to discourse consumers. By interesting and enrolling users in this manner, IC discourse was taken up where it had previously been discarded. Research limitations/implications - External factors that comprised IC discourse outside the organisation have only been given limited attention. It is also acknowledged that discourse consumers extend beyond practice manager level to also include employees in lower level operational positions and that these have not been explored in this study. Purpose - The paper provides useful information on enrolling discourse consumers to affect material intellectual capital practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)883-911
Number of pages29
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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