Intellectual Capital, Innovation and the Bushy Form of Knowledge Capitalisation

Silvana Revellino*, Jan Mouritsen

*Corresponding author for this work

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This paper analyses the relations between intellectual capital (IC) and innovation. It links interest in the macro-effects of intellectual capital, typically found in cross-sectional studies on the effects of intellectual capital, to micro-studies of the performativity of intellectual capital. The former literature suffers from a lack of attention to the mechanisms that produce innovation, and the latter suffers from its focus on stabilising decisions in uncertain situations. The paper draws on the notion of perlocutionary performativity, which, in addition to suggesting that IC provokes effects, underlines that particular directions of these effects are uncertain, if not unknown. To show the mechanism through which perlocutions work, the paper draws on Butler’s (1993; 1997) distinction between citability and ex-citability. According to this perspective, a citation of an IC corpus of expressions (citations, references, information) may be transformed, by being circulated (re-cited) and brought into a new potentially innovative arrangement, something which goes beyond (ex-cites) the cited reference. Over time, IC citations provoke innovation. Such a relation can be traced as a bushy form of innovation, which develops from a set of IC citations that have some durability in being reproduced regularly. The paper shows, through the analysis of two decades of reporting from Autostrade, that IC is both a set of disciplined citations of a particular kind of use value, a set of obligations to invest along this use value, and an unpredictable capitalisation of items of innovation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management & Governance
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 13 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 13 November 2023.


  • Intellectual capital
  • Innovation
  • Non-financial reporting
  • Performativity
  • Sustainability
  • Use value

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