The Performance of Intellectual Capital: Mobilising Relationships Between Intellectual and Financial Capital in a Bank

Vijaya Murthy, Jan Mouritsen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Purpose – This paper aims to analyse the relationship between intellectual capital and financial capital using a case study. This makes it possible to discuss how intellectual capital is related to value creation with a degree of nuance that is absent from most statistical studies of relationships between human, organisational, relational and financial capital.

Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses a case study of a firm that invests in intellectual capital in order to develop financial capital. It traces the relationship between intellectual capital elements and financial capital via interviews. This allows the development of a nuanced account of the performance of intellectual capital. This account questions the universality of the linear model typically found in statistical studies. The model makes it possible to show how items of intellectual capital not only interact but also compete.

Findings – Relationships between intellectual capital and financial capital are challenging to specify because they are complementary rather than causal. Financial capital is not only an effect but also an important input because the development of intellectual capital takes place through the firm's budgeting processes.

Research limitations/implications – The findings suggest future development of accounts of the role and performance (strength) of intellectual capital be developed around imaginative, perhaps recursive and certainly dynamic, statistical models and/or more inclusive case studies of the various elements that influence the development and transformation of intellectual capital.

Originality/value – The case study suggests that investments in intellectual capital happen in the context of many other investments. Bounded by the budgeting process, intellectual capital has no separate agenda and therefore, intellectual capital investments compete with other types of investments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAccounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)622-646
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Intellectual Capital
  • Budgetary Control
  • Performance Management
  • Management Control

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