Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 98, Issue 4, pp 649–662 | Cite as

Towards ‘An Intellectual Capital-Based View of the Firm’: Origins and Nature

  • Gregorio Martín-de-Castro
  • Miriam Delgado-Verde
  • Pedro López-Sáez
  • José E. Navas-López


Economic and social activities are undergoing radical changes, which can be labelled as ‘knowledge economy and/or society’. In this sense, intellectual capital (IC), or knowledge assets, as the fourth factor of production, is replacing the other ones – job, land and capital. This article tries to offer the origins and nature of the firm’s IC that can be labelled as ‘An Intellectual Capital-Based View of the Firm Competition’. This framework tries to highlight the strategic role of different intangible assets like talented and committed workers, cultural values, or long-term relationships among the firm and its stakeholders – customers, allies, suppliers and society in general – in gaining and sustaining competitive advantages, being the management of IC a key issue in the management agenda.


intellectual capital knowledge management human capital relational capital state of the art 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregorio Martín-de-Castro
    • 1
  • Miriam Delgado-Verde
    • 1
  • Pedro López-Sáez
    • 1
  • José E. Navas-López
    • 1
  1. 1.UCM Research Group on ‘Knowledge, Strategy, and Innovation in the Firm’, Business Administration DepartmentUniversidad Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

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