Intellectual Capital: The new wealth of organization

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Visionary in scope, Intellectual Capital is the first book that shows how to turn the untapped knowledge of an organization into its greatest competitive weapon.  Thomas A. Stewart demonstrates how knowledge--not natural resources, machinery, or financial capital--has become the most important factor in economic life.  Through practical advice, stories, and case histories, Stewart reveals how organizations and individuals can create and use the knowledge assets they need.  Dazzling in its ability to make conceptual sense of the economic revolution we are living through, this ingenious book cuts through the vague rhetoric of "paradigm shifts" to show how the Information Age economy really works.

Intellectual Capital should be read as if the futures of your company and your career depend on it.  They do.
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About the author

Thomas A. Stewart is an award-winning member of the board of editors of Fortune magazine.  He pioneered the field of intellectual capital in a series of landmark articles that earned him an international reputation as the chief expert on the subject.  The Planning Forum called him "the leading proponent of knowledge management in the business press," and Business Intelligence, a British research group, gave him a special award for his outstanding contributions to the field.  He lives in Manhattan.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Crown Business
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Published on
Sep 22, 2010
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780307765857
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Entrepreneurship
Business & Economics / Knowledge Capital
Business & Economics / Strategic Planning
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Family businesses—the predominant form of business organization around the world—can make numerous, critical contributions to the economy and family well-being in both financial and qualitative terms. But dysfunctional family businesses can be difficult to manage, painful experiences at best, and they can destroy family wealth and personal relationships. This book explores the dynamics of family business management, in the context of constantly changing market conditions and the role that knowledge management plays in strategic planning and adaptation. Integrating the literature from family business, entrepreneurship, industrial psychology, and knowledge management, and with illustrative examples from a variety of enterprises, the authors address such topics as: •How family businesses can compete in the new knowledge economy •How to manage a family business when knowledge is its main asset •How to transfer knowledge (and how to keep it alive) through family generations Within this framework, the authors argue that effective resource management—especially intangible resources—is central to enabling a family-run organization to maintain a sustainable competitive advantage over time. They note that families often develop systemic, intuitive, or tacit knowledge that transcends rational decision making and needs to be recognized and nurtured as a distinctive asset. The authors demonstrate that trans-generational value is achieved when the family firm innovates and adapts itself to changing external and internal conditions. This kind of entrepreneurial performance requires dynamic capabilities and processes designed to acquire, exchange, combine and even shed knowledge and practices; and, in turn, dynamic capabilities result from mechanisms of knowledge sharing, collective learning, experience accumulation, and transfer.
Business knowledge has been evolving ever since the emergence of the first economic book, The Wealth of Nations, written by Adam Smith. A profound load of business management theories, concepts, notions, techniques and tools have been developed. However, pragmatic applications of those “good stuffs” to business in practice seem not quite satisfactory. Many evidences show that the majority of senior managers are still reactive (instead of proactive) to the environmental changes, myopia in strategic planning, inconsistent in managing and bias in analyzing. Those are obviously the handicaps in the treacherously changing business environment. On the other hand, the under-performance of MBA graduates somehow reveals that there might be a need to renovate and supplement the current education system in management. Those problems will be well defined and addressed in this book through introducing a new approach in thinking and effective methods that can readily help resolve these problems. Unlike the pure academic writings, our principles, systems, methods and tools are developed based upon not only academic theories, but also the practical experiences through being practiced and testified in numerous business cases in reality. Furthermore, our principles and systems are designed to be readily applicable to business in practice.Business in its nature is a holistic and indivisible piece of matter, and it is also a complex, volatile and conceptual matter as well. The former characteristics hinder the business practitioners from managing and making decisions effectively while the latter ones hinder the students from acquiring the mastery of its overall rationale. Image that, without a holistic and integrative framework and engineering mindset, the tasks of business planning and implementation might end up like constructing a cross-sea bridge without an overall blueprint and engineering concepts and practices. Unfortunately, there is by far no such a single framework that provides a holistic view systematically and visually that allows people to concisely capture the essence of business.Conceptualization is deemed to be one of the crucial abilities in strategic planning and decision making for senior executive level and usually becomes a bottleneck for many middle managers to move up along their career ladder. One of the challenges of conceptualizing business lies in the complexity and vagueness of the relationship among numerous business elements. For removing this difficulty to a considerable extent, we take the systematic approach to provide the framework that holistically captures the panorama of business environment and logically integrates the essential business elements in seamless manner, from financial status and performance to management functions to strategy to market environment to macro environment. Essentially, our system serves as a frame of mind in the field of business, called Business “MindFrame”, in which people can be aided in better modeling business contexts, reasoning the business decisions out, and charting the effective courses of actions rationally.Published by SCPG Publishing Corporation and distributed by World Scientific for all markets except China
Finally, an answer to the ultimate business question: How do some companies achieve exceptional performance over the long term?
 
In every sector, there’s an outlier. In the phar­maceutical industry, it’s Merck. In discount retail, it’s Family Dollar. It used to be Wrig­ley in candy and Maytag in appliances. Other superstars have been hidden in plain sight, like Heartland Express in trucking or Linear Technology in semiconductors. How do these exceptional companies deliver superior perfor­mance over the long run despite facing the same constraints as competitors? What are they doing differently? What can we learn from them?
 
Michael E. Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed have analyzed data on more than 25,000 com­panies spanning forty-five years. Their five-year study began with a sophisticated statistical analysis to identify which companies have truly exceptional performance, 344 in all.
 
In collaboration with teams of researchers, Raynor and Ahmed then put a carefully chosen representative sample of twenty-seven com­panies under the microscope to uncover what made the stand-out performers different. They found that exceptional companies, when faced with difficult decisions, follow three rules:
Better before cheaper. They rarely compete on price.Revenue before cost. They drive profits through price and volume, not thrift.There are no other rules. Everything else is up for grabs, and they are willing to change anything to remain true to the first two rules. 
The rules provide an indispensable compass that any company can use to chart its own path to greatness. Is it better to keep price down or invest in creating value that commands a higher price? Should you focus on talent and develop­ing the abilities of your people or build processes to extend the capabilities of your organization? How about acquiring a sizable competitor to secure economies of scale—or a small start-up to gain access to new technology? According to Raynor and Ahmed, the right answers to these and just about every other question are the ones most closely aligned with the rules.
 
The Three Rules is built on a powerful combina­tion of large-scale data analysis and in-depth case studies. Its guidance will increase the chance that your organization can become truly exceptional.
In Thomas A. Stewart’s bestselling first book, Intellectual Capital, he redefined the priorities of businesses around the world, demonstrating that the most important assets companies own today are often not tangible goods, equipment, financial capital, or market share, but the intangibles: patents, the knowledge of workers, and the information about customers and channels and past experience that a company has in its institutional memory. Now in his new book, The Wealth of Knowledge, Stewart--widely acknowledged as the world’s leading expert on working with intellectual capital in today’s knowledge economy--reveals how today’s companies are applying the concept of intellectual capital into day-to-day operations to dramatically increase their success in the marketplace.

Arguing that companies can make untold millions of dollars by managing knowledge more effectively--and save millions more--Stewart offers executives and managers compelling accounts of how leading companies around the world are successfully tackling the practical issues involved in today’s knowledge economy. The heart of the book is a revolutionary 4-step preocess that shows how to put intellectual capital to work to improve performance and profitablity, as well as manage knowledge processes. He goes on to discuss how companies can better utilize their current assets and enhance their knowledge resources for the future. Questioning many of the assumptions that have ruled business in the twentieth century, he addresses such critical and fundamental issues as why companies exist, how they should be organized and how people should be compensated. With his customary fearlessness and foresight, he plunges into the thick of the controversial arena of measuring and accounting, as well-an increasingly difficult task when a corporation’s assets are intangible.

The Wealth of Knowledge not only sets out the latest thinking in creating and managing knowledge assets, but provides a detailed course of action for corporations trying to navigate their way in the world of knowledge economy.
Peter Drucker has introduced us all to the knowledge era, where knowledge is the primary resource and intangibles (intellectual capital resources and assets) are now largely recognized as the most important sources of organizations' competitive advantage. With the recognition of the importance of Intangibles comes the problem of how to properly identify them and assign them a value within the corporation. This is an area of concern in 5 fields: 1) accounting and financial reporting, 2) performance measurement and management, 3) valuation in the finance field, 4) the Human Resources field in terms of management, strategy, and planning, and 5) Intellectual Capital. Over the past eight years, over 25 methods have been proposed for the valuation of intangibles coming out of these 5 fields.

In this book, Andriessen evaluates 25 existing methods of intangible valuation according to highly developed criteria. In performing his evaluations, Andriessen synthesizes the state of the art research from these fields based on extensive research. He then presents his own method for valuing intangibles, which he began developing and testing as a Senior Manager at KPMG Knowledge Advisory Services in The Netherlands. He relates six case studies in which this method was tested in actual companies, carefully reviews the results of his tests, and then concludes by offering a new and improved method for valuing intangibles in his Weightless Wealth Toolkit, a complete step-by-step process for identifying, valuing, and managing Intangibles to help managers operate successfully in the Intangible Economy.
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