Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to place the value creation process within sustainable growthstrategies. Building on Drucker (1968, 1999a, b), Pulic (2000, 2004, 2008) and other papers by the sameauthors (Iazzolino and Laise, 2013) the specific aim of this research is to propose an accounting-basedframework able to: distinguish between knowledge-intensive firms (KIFs) and nonknowledge intensivefirms (nonKIFs); and investigate the contribution of the two sets of firms (KIFs and nonKIFs) to overallsustainability, from a social point of view, of the economic system.Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses the notion of value added (VA) (Pulic, 2000,2004, 2008) as the main indicator to measure the value creation in a knowledge economy context.As regard the first point of the framework, the approach is based on the analysis of VA and itscomponents, starting from a reinterpretation of the concept of value added intellectualcoefficient made by the same authors of this paper. An empirical analysis based on thecomposition of VA in ten Italian industries, by using an overall sample of 1,000 firms, has beencarried out and is described in the paper. As regards the second point, the paper analyses, froma theoretical point of view, the necessary conditions to set up a sustainable value creation strategyin social terms, using the conceptual categories introduced by Drucker (1968, 1999a, b) and Pulic(2000, 2004, 2008).Findings – From results of the empirical analysis it emerges that: first, in traditional industries theweight of the cost of employees on VA (human capital investments) is less than the other sectors(low human capital intensity). In these sectors the value creation strategy is mainly based on “deadknowledge,” embedded in machines (physical capital); and second, in nontraditional industries(consulting, advertising, research, etc.) the economic value creation is mainly based on “livingknowledge,” embedded in human resources (high human capital intensity). In these sectors we havelower productivity of work (VA/human capital) and higher employment.Practical implications – The framework proposed makes it possible to reduce the risk of myopicvaluation of economic performance. Through this methodology it is possible to highlight the effects ofsustainable strategies based on knowledge investments oriented toward the stakeholder value theoryand corporate social responsibility. The approach can be very useful for top managers and foraccountants, as it underlines the importance of the VA income statement and constructs a strong linkto the themes of knowledge management.Originality/value – The originality and the value of this methodological proposal can be appreciatedby taking into account that in the literature there is no accounting-based methodology that is ableto identify: the knowledge-intensive firms; and the firms that can contribute to overall socialsustainability, within the set of all firms.

Value Creation and Sustainability in Knowledge-based Strategies

IAZZOLINO, Gianpaolo
;
2016

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to place the value creation process within sustainable growthstrategies. Building on Drucker (1968, 1999a, b), Pulic (2000, 2004, 2008) and other papers by the sameauthors (Iazzolino and Laise, 2013) the specific aim of this research is to propose an accounting-basedframework able to: distinguish between knowledge-intensive firms (KIFs) and nonknowledge intensivefirms (nonKIFs); and investigate the contribution of the two sets of firms (KIFs and nonKIFs) to overallsustainability, from a social point of view, of the economic system.Design/methodology/approach – The paper uses the notion of value added (VA) (Pulic, 2000,2004, 2008) as the main indicator to measure the value creation in a knowledge economy context.As regard the first point of the framework, the approach is based on the analysis of VA and itscomponents, starting from a reinterpretation of the concept of value added intellectualcoefficient made by the same authors of this paper. An empirical analysis based on thecomposition of VA in ten Italian industries, by using an overall sample of 1,000 firms, has beencarried out and is described in the paper. As regards the second point, the paper analyses, froma theoretical point of view, the necessary conditions to set up a sustainable value creation strategyin social terms, using the conceptual categories introduced by Drucker (1968, 1999a, b) and Pulic(2000, 2004, 2008).Findings – From results of the empirical analysis it emerges that: first, in traditional industries theweight of the cost of employees on VA (human capital investments) is less than the other sectors(low human capital intensity). In these sectors the value creation strategy is mainly based on “deadknowledge,” embedded in machines (physical capital); and second, in nontraditional industries(consulting, advertising, research, etc.) the economic value creation is mainly based on “livingknowledge,” embedded in human resources (high human capital intensity). In these sectors we havelower productivity of work (VA/human capital) and higher employment.Practical implications – The framework proposed makes it possible to reduce the risk of myopicvaluation of economic performance. Through this methodology it is possible to highlight the effects ofsustainable strategies based on knowledge investments oriented toward the stakeholder value theoryand corporate social responsibility. The approach can be very useful for top managers and foraccountants, as it underlines the importance of the VA income statement and constructs a strong linkto the themes of knowledge management.Originality/value – The originality and the value of this methodological proposal can be appreciatedby taking into account that in the literature there is no accounting-based methodology that is ableto identify: the knowledge-intensive firms; and the firms that can contribute to overall socialsustainability, within the set of all firms.
Performance measurement; VAIC; Intellectual capital
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/144087
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