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Measuring IC following a semi-qualitative approach: An integrated framework

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Purpose: Considering the different IC measures adopted in literature, the advantages of adopting semi-qualitative measures, and the lack of an agreed system for IC evaluation, the purpose of the paper is to analyse literature on IC measurement following a semi-qualitative approach, with the final intent to build an IC measurement framework. Design/methodology/approach: A literature review on IC measurement system, following a semi-qualitative approach, has been conducted and analysed, in order to re-organize and synthesize all items used in previous researches. Findings: An integrated framework emerged from this research and it constitutes an IC measurement system, created gathering and integrating different items previously adopted in literature. Each of these variables has been organized in categories belonging to one of the three main components of IC: human capital, internal structural capital and relational capital. Originality/value: This research provides an integrated tool for IC evaluation, fostering toward a well agreed measurement system that is still lacking in literature. This framework could be interesting not only for the academic world, which in the last two decades reveals increasing attention to IC, but also for the management of the companies, that with IC measurement can increase awareness of the firm’s value and develop internal auditing system to support the management of these assets. Moreover,it could be a useful instrument for the communication of IC value to the external stakeholders, as customers, suppliers and especially shareholders, and to investors and financial analysts.

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