Can Ideas be Capital? Factors of Production in the Post-Industrial Economy: A Review and Critique

Dean, Alison and Kretschmer, M. (2003) Can Ideas be Capital? Factors of Production in the Post-Industrial Economy: A Review and Critique. In: Academy of Management Conference, August 1-6, Seattle. (Unpublished) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

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It is a widely accepted premise that we are in a midst of a radical change of economic and social relations, associated with terms such as the “knowledge economy”, “weightless economy”, “post-industrial society” or “information society”. The intellectual capital literature appears to suggest the arrival of a distinct factor of production, replacing or supplementing land, labour and capital. Some exponents of intellectual capital analysis see knowledge, ideas, capabilities and skills as a new, perhaps overriding productive factor; others conceive of the changes within a widening of the traditional definition of capital to include business processes, intellectual property, product ideas, even customer loyalty; again others use “intellectual capital” as a rhetorical tool withholding any coherent definition. In this article, we first give a historically informed theoretical exposition of capital as the durable result of past production processes, transforming future production while not being transformed itself, and associated with a particular economic actor. Second, we offer a taxonomy of the perceived characteristics and location of intellectual capital in the production process. Third, we argue that capital, and thus intellectual capital, is not a useful way of theoretically capturing knowledge and ideas

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Business School > International Business and Strategy
Depositing User: Alison Dean
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2008 12:37
Last Modified: 16 May 2014 11:13
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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