Is “If it can’t be measured it can’t be managed” really true? We cast doubt on its truth by critically studying Intellectual Capital (IC) practice over six years at an internationally recognised public sector IC leader. During this time the ‘Land and Property Authority of NSW’ (Lands) implemented IC practices. Initially Lands struggled to cope with the significant challenges associated with retaining the knowledge ingrained in an ageing workforce but as a result succeeded becoming a growing dynamic Government Business Enterprise (GBE) at a time when most of the public sector is getting smaller. During the IC journey Lands has achieved recognition for its IC reporting and practices in the absence of a definitive set of IC measures. Lands struggled with an inability to develop a specific set of IC metrics to communicate its success. However, Lands effectively communicates the impact of its IC practices through its IC statements based on an ongoing narrative. We conclude from the evidence presented that IC practices are possible without necessarily needing concrete IC measures. The conclusion highlights the struggle many organisations face when developing appropriate IC measures. While there appears to be a fixation on developing ‘accounting for IC’, we advocate the fixation is misplaced and the IC journey is better communicated narrating the story of how IC was mobilised. Doing so allows for more focus on IC practices rather than accounting. This opens the debate as to whether accounting can provide a solution as IC is more complex than providing an IC balance sheet.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Intellectual Capital|
|Editors||Geoff Turner, Clemente Minnone|
|Place of Publication||United Kingdom|
|Publisher||Academic Publishing International|
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - 2011|
|Event||European Conference on Intellectual Capital ECIC 2011 (3rd : 2011) - Cyprus|
Duration: 18 Apr 2011 → 19 Apr 2011
|Conference||European Conference on Intellectual Capital ECIC 2011 (3rd : 2011)|
|Period||18/04/11 → 19/04/11|
- intellectual capital
- IC balance sheet
Dumay, J., & Rooney, J. (2011). Is “If it can’t be measured it can’t be managed” really true? In G. Turner, & C. Minnone (Eds.), Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference on Intellectual Capital (pp. 123-130). United Kingdom: Academic Publishing International.