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The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efficiency -A Brief Description

Zagreb, June 2008.
The Principles of Intellectual
Capital Efficiency
- A Brief Description
Ante Pulic
The Principles of Intellectual Capital
Efficiency - A Brief Description
Prof. Ante Pulic, PhD
It has taken quite some time to write this paper, starting in 1998 when the VAIC™ concept was presented
at the 2nd IC congress in Canada, and nishing in spring 2008, during a visit to Acapulco. It features both,
intensive theoretical and practical work. Theoretical thesis was tested in business practice, corrected and re-
examined, while practical experience inspired new theoretical solutions. The past 10 years of research and
examination have been true laboratory work and the results are described in this article.
The main nding is actually very simple and short: being efcient is no great philosophy or art, but a very
practical and applicable skill. Moreover, efciency can be executed and achieved by everyone, be it by ma-
nagers in business or by individuals in private life.
But let me start at the beginning, with the key question: What is the root problem of efciency today? The
answer is that we are facing a similar situation with intellectual work as was faced by manual work before
Taylor. Measurement of intellectual work still implies “rules of thumb”, which means, that everybody does
it “his way”. Such practice must be replaced with a system that enables precise insights into IC performance
at all levels of business activity and continuous improvement of intellectual work efciency, similar to what
Taylor did with physical work.
The following research conrms our thesis.1 More than 1600 presidents and board members of biggest
1 The Economist (2006), Economist Intelligence Unit, pp. 93
The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency - A Brief Description
companies worldwide see possibilities in improving productivity in the eld of knowledge management,
that is, intellectual capital management.
Figure 1. Activities with the greatest potential productivity gains next 15 years
Nature of Value Creation in Knowledge Economy
Today it is possible to state with certainty that the focus of working activity is out of classical production,
which represents the dematerialization of economic activities. The named process of dematerialization,
which has been almost fully overlooked by economic theory, has become more and more evident.2 We can
condently say that we have entered the epoch of intellectual value creation.
In the current economy the predominant activity is no longer production of goods but production of knowled-
ge, which is then built into goods and services. This is the starting point of any further economic analysis.
This transformation has affected at least two areas: the production of goods and the value of goods. There
is a considerable difference between knowledge based added value and physically added value.
During the industrial era, the dominant way of value creation was mass production of goods, in other words,
physical creation of value added. In the real world that meant that nancial capital had a determining role. An
enormous number of workers was engaged in poorly paid jobs trying to create as many goods as possible beca-
use value creation depended upon quantity. Today, the situation is different. The created value added does not
depend upon the increase of produced goods but the knowledge content incorporated into goods and services.
Value is not created by the quantity of produced goods but through the quality created by knowledge workers
in designing, e.g. new software programs or inventing new medicine. This leads to following conclusion: as
value of the products/services was once determined by the quantity of raw materials and physical work, nowa-
days it is mainly determined by knowledge content incorporated into goods/services.
All of this changes the nature of value creation dramatically. It is no longer possible to think of goods as
a physical manifestation of value.3 This means that the loss of value of goods does not happen due to its
physical ware but due to out-dated knowledge built into it. Basically, the reason we buy a new product is
2 P. Drucker (1986), «The frontiers of Management – Where Tomorrow’s Decisions are Being Shaped today», New York 1986.
If something exists, then it is the small group gathered around the new theory of growth, with P. Romer.
3 Kenney, Martin (1997), “Value Creation in the Late 20th Century: The Rise of the Knowledge Worker.” In J. Davis, T. Hirshl,
and M. Stack (eds.) Cutting Edge: Technology, Information, Capitalism and Social Revolution (London: Verso): 87-102
not because the previous one fails to full its function, but because the new one contains more knowledge.
Therefore, it is not the physical component of the product that becomes obsolete; it’s the immaterial com-
ponent - the knowledge. This has become true for all industries, from software industry to tourism and other
Since we are dealing with knowledge-based economy it is a necessity to explain the distinction between
knowledge and intellectual capital. As far as capital is concerned, economic thought denes quite precisely
what that implies. Let’s take money as an example. Is all money capital? No. Money stuffed in a sock or put
away in its more modern version, a home safe, is not capital. Capital is only the money or property - buildings,
machinery, raw materials - that is used to create new value. The same analogy applies to knowledge. There are
many people that dispose of very impressive knowledge, but their knowledge will never become intellectual
capital if they are not able to transform it into value creating action that will cause a reaction on the market – a
demand for whatever that person has to offer. In the same way as money is not capital if it doesn’t serve the
purpose of creating value, knowledge that fails to full the same function is not either. From an economic point
of view it is possible to conclude that only such knowledge becomes intellectual capital that can be transformed
into value identiable on the market, or in other words, into benets the customer pays for.
Although people talk of knowledge as the main carrier of power in this era, that power actually refers to its
manifestation in business, and that is intellectual capital. In the new economy the concept of intellectual
capital is used as a synonym for those employees, who have the capability of transforming and incorporating
knowledge into product and services that create value.
People are the main carriers of knowledge. In order to go one step further a new employee status needs to be
found. And this requires a big breakthrough: intellectual capital needs to receive the status of key resource,
which at least means, becoming equal with physical and nancial capital. In reality this should not be hard
to achieve. If we all agree on the fact that employees are the key resource of the 21st century and that today
knowledge is what once were land and money, then it is only reasonable to give this resource the status it
deserves: of investment and not cost any more.
Employees, who are treated as investment, are the beginning and the end of the new, knowledge based, eco-
nomy. In the same way as investments were made in plants and machinery in order to create value during
industrial economy, today, we invest in employees, who are the main value creators of contemporary eco-
nomy. Today, companies combine two key resources: physical and nancial and intellectual capital. Within
their interaction – the different business activities – value is being created. The above mentioned shift seems
inevitable in moving forward to knowledge based economy. Treating the knowledge worker as investment,
not only in words but also in accounting terms, makes the popular slogan become true: “The knowledge
worker is the most valuable asset of companies in the 21st“ century
Business Success in the Knowledge Economy
We are faced with the following questions: How can business processes, companies and whole national
economies be successfully managed with the immaterial component of business, knowledge, becoming
ever more dominant? And, even more importantly: How do we know whether this is done successfully or
not, that is, how productive they are? Over the past 20 years many methods and approaches, categorised by
different criteria, have appeared in an attempt to answer above questions. Since a thorough overview of the
methods already exists, there is no need to go deeper into this now.4 However, an interesting question is why
they have not been applied in a wider range in business practice.
According to managers and some academics the main problems of most methods and procedures are as
l In general, measurement results refer to company level only, which isn’t by any means sufcient for
successful management of intellectual capital. Try to imagine management, who, e.g. is monitoring
expenses on company level only.
4 Sveiby, K.E.(2002): Methods for measuring intagible assets. Available at:
htm Andriessen, D. (2004): Making sense of intellectual capital: designing a method for the valuation of intangibles, Elsevier
Butterworth-Heinemann, Burlington, USA
The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency - A Brief Description
l Measurement of IC performance and therefore management in value creating processes is not enabled.
Remember professor Juran’s saying: «If you don’t manage the processes, you don’t manage the
company at all». This implies that if it is not possible to measure IC performance in processes we can
not say that we have measurement methods adequate to satisfy the needs of modern companies.
l Most methods and procedures are applied during limited time periods – e.g. monitoring intellectual
capital is conducted once or twice a year. Imagine management making decisions based on business
reports issued every 6 to 12 months. This can not meet business needs.
l With non monetary approaches the possibility of comparison with others is difcult or impossible,
no matter whether on company, sector or national level. Without benchmarking possibility with other
business subjects, it is impossible to determine one’s position in business environment. Like a ship
without navigation instruments.
l Last but not least, after having obtained various results, many managers are still clueless of whether
their company’s intellectual capital has created more or less value as compared to the previous time
period. Or in different words, whether the company has created value and how much. It is therefore
that after all the analysis conducted IC productivity is still unknown.5
Taking into consideration all that is said, there is no valid argumentation against a monetary based mea-
suring system which is real economy. We will continue to work in a business environment of monetary
transactions for many more years. Because of that there is no other way but to lay a bridge between the
intellectual capital output on the one side, and money, which is used in all transactions, on the other side.
The goal must therefore be to nd a measuring model for the knowledge economy, which will serve em-
ployees, management, investors, business partners, and states in the same way. This model has to be able
to indicate how much value has been created and how productive it is at all levels of business activity: with
business processes, segments of the company and at company level. It has to provide the possibility of com-
parison with others, and to cover both, micro and macro level of business activities.
Under the new circumstances, value is determined by the relationship between the customer and the product/
service in which the quantity of knowledge is the key. On the other hand we have the relationship between
created value added and the resources engaged in value creation.
This leads us to following two relations:
Customer Product/Service
Value Added Resources
Because of the limited space we will deal with the second relation (2) only. Here we have a key indicator,
value creation efciency, that features the relationship between value added and utilized resources.
Economy Industry age Knowledge age
Measuring system Quantity Quality
Scope Revenue Value
Business success Prot Efciency
This way a base for the creation of a new measuring framework is given in which created value added and
efciency of resources become the new measuring units for business success that is productivity in
knowledge-based economy.
“Intellectual assets are intangible. After all, so is value. Let’s make the link between the two more “visible”.6
The measuring framework, as presented before, gives a signpost how to connect knowledge and money.
The new measuring system is based on value added, which, on the one hand visualizes companies’ business
capability and, on the other hand, creates a bridge between intellectual capital as a non material resource
5 Sveiby K.E. (2004), Learn to Measure to Learn, Opening Key Adress IC Congress, Helsinki 2 Sept. 2004.
6 Zambon Stefano (2006): Intellectual Assets and Value Creation: Exploring the “Black Link”, International Policy Conference:
“Intellectual Assets and Innovation: Value Creation in the Knowledge Economy”, Ferrara, 20-22. october 2005
and the monetary sphere. Value added reects business success in an appropriate way in accordance with
knowledge economy’s logic, according to which, knowledge is incorporated into products and services. In
short, value added indicates the power of companies in wealth creation.
Neither revenue nor prot, the basic indicators of industrial economy, do not really show whether and how
much value has been created and I would like to demonstrate this with following examples.
Rang Company Revenue Value Added
200 KONCAR-ING. 234.523.170 31.190.413
1254 KONČAR-INSTITUT 55.325.411 31.601.272
184 KONCAR-TRANSFORMES 264.429.731 13.964.793
835 KONCAR-MONTING 58.418.084 13.005.953
We can see four companies, with a considerable difference in revenue (up to ve times) but the same value
added. In the second table the companies have similar value added but totally different prot (which is also
not suitable for establishing a link to real value creation).
Company Value Added £M Operating prot £M
Siemens, Germany 24200,9 2423
DaimlerChrysler, Germany 23546,0 1957
Deutsche Telekom, Germany 23296,1 5281
The new concept, which is introduced in this paper, has a number of advantages that, whilst not replacing
existing measures, complements them in a signicant way. Value added is an objective indicator of business
success since output and input, the two categories, which it is derived from, are taken from the market. On
the contrary, prot is an indicator that is based on numerous subjective transactions and calculations.
Easy calculation is possible at various levels of business activity, from process inside the company to com-
pany units, at company level, regional and national level. This makes value added a universal unit that uni-
tes the entire economy. Furthermore, it can be calculated whenever it is necessary and, in accordance with
classical business reports, on a weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual basis.
Value added is a measure that reects employee’s and management’s contribution to value creation. The use
of value added can be an important step in encouraging and involving all employees to make a participative
contribution to their work situation and increase wealth, especially if it is linked to a productivity bonus
scheme, which can be geared to increase in value added. Even more, management has a precise system
to receive feed back on their activities. Higher added value and higher employees’ salaries ensure higher
dividends for investors – shareholders, taxes (state), and higher investments in further development. Value
added, as a measure, unites all participants of economic activity with one goal: creating as much value as
After having obtained the business result, value added, calculation of the efciency of utilized resources
intellectual and physical/nancial capital – is a matter of simple mathematics. The efciency parameters are
received by putting the business result into relation to each of the resources.
First, let us deal with today’s key resource, intellectual capital, consisting of two basic components, human
and structural capital.7
The human capital of a company is represented by its workforce and, in accounting terms, by the expendi-
tures for employees. In the presented concept expenditures for employees are not part of input any more. In
accordance to this, employees are not treated as cost but as investment. The logic behind this is that people
invest their knowledge and capabilities whereby their engagement is evaluated through company’s activities
at the market and reected in the created value added. I have published this concept in a rudimentary form
in my work in 1992, and in the papers published in 1997 and 1998.8
We can state the following: as the quantity of products produced in a certain time unit was a productivity
indicator of manual work and manual workers, in the same way represents the quantity of value added
7 With regard to the limited space, it is not possible to deal with structural capital.
8 Pulic, A. (1993), Elemente der Informationsekonomie, Wien
The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency - A Brief Description
per invested monetary unit (efciency of intellectual capital ICE), an indicator for the productivity of
knowledge workers. Therefore it becomes a new key indicator.
In order to gain total insight into the performance of resources in value creation, nancial capital is not to
be excluded. Although its signicance has been diminishing with the rise of knowledge economy its role
in value creation can not be ignored. Intellectual capital can not create value by itself. Actually, to be more
accurate, business efforts will give optimal results only if intellectual capital is combined with nancial
capital. This is why information on this resource’s value creation efciency is needed as well.
The sum of both indicators, intellectual and capital employed efciency gives us an aggregated indicator
that shows the overall efciency of a company in value creation and features its intellectual ability. In sim-
ple words this aggregated indicator (VAIC) shows how much new value is created by each monetary unit
invested in resources. The higher this coefcient, the better is a company’s intellectual capital in creating
value for its stakeholders.9
What is the benet of this? We are dealing with two issues that traditional economy did not have answers to.
First, in real economy only the two afore mentioned indicators (value added and efciency) show whether
value is created or destroyed. One of the reasons why companies face difculties today is that managers are
not aware of the fact that they might have been destroying value for years until their nal break down. This
happens because traditional indicators like revenue or EBIT can create an illusion of business success by
showing positive trends although value is destroyed at the same time, which becomes visible through the
new indicators. This will be elaborated in more detail in the next part.
Second, value added and efciency of value creation reconnect the micro and macro levels of economy after
a long time. This is due to the fact that these measures are equally relevant at all levels of business, from
processes and units inside the company to company level, at the level of virtual communities, to city, regi-
onal and national economy level. Intellectual Capital Efciency (ICE) connects the two spheres since both,
micro and macro level, are treated in the same way and the same data base is used for calculation.
For example, at national level value creation can be monitored with sectors by determining which sectors
are above and which are below national economy’s efciency average. Reasons for the situation have to be
found and actions for improvement of weak areas are to be initiated if possible. The same principle applies
for the economies of regions within a national economy and companies within a sector.
Another advantage of applying the same measure to all levels of business activity is that companies can re-
ceive orientation with regard to their performance related to national or regional efciency. All of the afore
mentioned provides new insights to government administration allowing for a totally new scope of action
and a far more efcient management of national and regional resources.
Finally, next to the economic implications, the shift towards value added and the efciency of resources in
value creation has an additional sociological component. For the rst time in history, value added and abo-
ve all, the efciency of intellectual capital, unites all actors of business activity. Until recently, there were
opposing interests of the ones who owned wealth in any form – gold, land, nancial capital – and those who
worked in creating that wealth – slaves, serfs, blue collar workers. Today, that gap can easily be bridged sin-
ce creating more value means a benet for all parties: the employees, managers, shareholders, government.
They all unite in a common goal, creating value more and more efcient (in particular if the rewarding
system is tied to value creation and efciency). Therefore, all parties are motivated to know whether their
intellectual capital creates or destroys value.
Reasons for the Fall of Productivity
In this part of the paper I will bring up arguments in favour of a new way of monitoring business success and
explain the problem of falling productivity in knowledge economy. For this reason it is necessary to focus
on the results provided by the two measuring systems: the classical one and the new one, presented in this
paper. The main difference between these them is that the rst one encompasses and therefore controls only
9 Pulic, A. (2000):VAIC - an accounting tool for IC management. Available at:
Pulic, A. (2004): Intellectual Capital – does it create or destroy value?, in Measuring Business Excellence, Emerald, Volume 8,
Number 1 2004.
nancial capital performance and the second one encompasses and therefore controls both key resources,
but rst of all intellectual capital.
When the data, which has been derived from annual reports is analysed according to both measuring systems
some illusions can be discarded: at the same time, while promoting positive business results, meaning an
increase in revenue and prot, many companies might actually face value destruction in the way that value
added and efciency of value creation are decreasing.
In this example, management’s achievement, a 5,3% increase in revenue and a 15,7% in prot, is questio-
nable due to the fact that all new parameters show a falling trend: year long decrease in value (VA), a 50%
decrease of intellectual capital efciency (ICE) and a 38% decrease of nancial capital efciency (CEE).
Throughout the world, in numerous companies, many a manager lives and works guided by such illusions.
The usual rst reaction of managers, who are confronted with such a situation, is disbelief. They can not be-
lieve that the results come from the same database. This is what gives proof that time has come for a change
with traditional indicators of business success. Analysing a case of scientic reorientation a renowned hi-
storian referred to such transition periods as processes which include “dealing with the same bunch of facts
as before just establishing new kind of relationships between them, providing this way a totally different
framework”.10 This is what intellectual capital efciency is about. The same basic data – revenue, costs – is
brought into a new system of relationships, more complex than before, and new results are received, more
objective and more appropriate for a new business reality.
Managers can easily get into trouble by relying on the traditional measuring system only, since they make decisions
based on data that is not featuring modern business reality. This illusion is a result of the following paradoxes.
The rst paradox, EBIT (operative prot – OP) is in no relation to the created value in the company. Being
one of the basic indicators of business success, EBIT is used by many managers in operative decision ma-
king. Since EBIT is a consistent part of value added it is to be expected that they are in some kind of inter-
dependent relationship, or, in other words, that a higher value added would result in a higher EBIT.
Empirical analysis, which was conducted at 700 of the largest European companies from 36 sectors, inve-
stigating the relationship of VA and operative prot (EBIT) showed the following:11
10 Buttereld, H. (1949), The Origins of Modern Science, London, pp.1-7
11 Value Added Scoreboard, DTI, 2006,
The company has increased
revenue by 5,3 % and prot by
Value Added
Intellectual Capital Efciency
Capital Employed Efciency
The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency - A Brief Description
0,0 20000,0 40000,0 60000,0 80000,0
As can be clearly seen, there is no signicant correlation between created value and EBIT. In other words,
this means that prots are determined no matter of the value added created. Hence, company’s success is
not evaluated on the basis of its capability to create value, but on the basis of calculations that do not have
direct connections with value creation.12
I have received almost the same result in analysing a big retail company. The analysis encompassed 300
stores, which had been operating for at least three years. The nding was that stores with hardly 500.000 VA
and those with over 950.000 VA showed the same EBIT, in this case 200.000.
This empirical research gave way to my main nding: EBIT is in no correlation to value added and it does
not indicate the capability of companies (or lower units - stores) in value creation. Relying only on that in-
dicator, managers do not make optimal decisions.13
The second paradox is that the EBIT margin, which should be reecting business efciency, is in no way
related to the productivity of resources, in particular intellectual capital.
3,00 3,50 4,00 4,50 5,00 5,50
EBIT marža
The graph above shows relation between EBIT margin and ICE. Analysis of 300 stores has given following
12 With all the analysed sectors, there have been only 5 where a close relationship between EBIT and created value added could be
found. Those are: mining, chemicals, xed line telecommunications, nonlife insurance, oil & gas producers. Having the nature
of their business in mind this result makes sense since intellectual capital does not have a key meaning there.
13 According to reasearch, due to ignorance of IC efciency criteria, the mentioned retail chain had a fall of value added amounting
up to around 7 million € in 2005.
Stores, that had a high EBIT margin, about 9,5%, showed an ICE index in a scale from 3,5 to 5,0. This
means that the same margin was found with stores, where 3,5 monetary units were created per one invested
unit, as well as those, where 5,0 value added was created per one invested monetary unit (that is over 40%
The similar result was received with analysis of stores that had a low EBIT margin – with the same EBIT
margin they had 30% range of IC efciency.14
With regard to the displayed results I would like to conclude the following: business decisions based on
EBIT margin are not reliable since, as shown, it is in no direct relationship to company’s value creation and
intellectual capital efciency.
Unfortunately, this shows that many of the good intended efforts of managers, who want to create good for
themselves and their companies, actually do not create wealth for the company, or nations as a whole. On
the contrary, they destroy value rather than create it.
Now, based on the presented two paradoxes, an answer can be given to the issue of continuing fall of pro-
ductivity in the most developed countries of the world. These economies have deeply entered knowledge ba-
sed economy, where intellectual capital is a predominant resource in value creation. However, management
of this resource is still based on measuring systems focussing on nancial capital only. This way the chance
to measure the performance of this vital resource is missed and, furthermore, to manage it in a successful
way, herewith inuencing efciency of value creation
Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency
“A whole generation of managers refuses to accept reality and oversees a paradoxical decrease of producti-
vity, because people, who own economic power, have lost touch with economic reality.”15
If productivity has been decreasing for years it is not because it has to be, but it is rather a consequence of
business decisions which are being made based on inadequate indicators which do not display the real state
of everyday business. In order to change the current state of the art new principles of business efciency
have to be introduced.
1. Intellectual Capital Efciency has no Limits
In the industrial epoch productivity was limited. It was not possible to create more than it was allowed by
the limitative factors, technical and natural ones. Let us take a carwash for example. The productivity of the
employees will be determined by the time which is necessary for the machine to complete the job.
In knowledge economy there are no limitations to value creation. When software, movies or similar knowled-
ge-based products are created, the only restraint is the attitude of the customer towards the product.
Therefore it is possible to continuously increase efciency of value creation depending on:
l clear denition of goals regarding value creation,
l knowledge and capability of management and all other employees in the realization of the goals set.
The ones who will follow the instructions below will certainly and undoubtedly be able to increase continu-
ously their efciency. The increase will be exactly proportional to the clarity of their vision, which means
dening clear goals and the strength in pursuing them.
2. Value Creators are the Presupposition of Efciency
Today’s companies do not need better managers. They need better value creators – individuals who do not
only understand organizational processes but also the way of functioning, which enables continuous incre-
ase of value added.16
14 Cicek, M. (2007), Intellectual Capital in Retail, Zagreb
15 Glen Richard, Internet Society,
16 Thakor Anjan V., (2000), Becoming a Better Value Creator: How to Improve the Company’s Bottom Line - And Your Own,
John Wiley & Sons
The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency - A Brief Description
The existing productivity problems are caused by lack of business imagination in utilizing new possibilities
and less due to the optimizing solutions in given circumstances. Therefore, a new manager type is needed,
who will manage value creation, not just people.
According to Proudfoot Consulting research: The reasons for low productivity have been the same for years:
managers do not care enough about unproductive processes. They just do not know what is going on.”17
This is conrmed by a survey, which highlights that existing productivity problems are mainly a result of
poor management and unsatisfying labor control. If bad communication is added as the third reason, then the
state of productivity is not surprising. Is it necessary to mention that all those weaknesses refer to intellectual
capital management, which is the dominant resource today?
3. Continuous Increase of Value Added
Value creation is the precondition of efciency. In order to increase productivity of knowledge work the rst
step is to monitor what is going on with value added.
It is of a great importance to be aware of the fact, that without continuous increase of value added, survival
of the company and workplaces is endangered.
There are various combinations that lead to an increase of value added, and all of them are based on various
movements of income and costs. Increase of value added can be achieved if income grows faster than costs
or if the same income is achieved with lower costs. A third possibility is that income overgrows costs. As
for other combinations, they do not require great mathematical skills.
In order to ensure continuous growth of value added the following factors are of crucial importance:
Innovationenables continuity in increasing the knowledge content of products/services. As said before, in
contemporary economy building in of knowledge into products and services (but also in all other business
activities) is a vital activity, which makes innovation a basic requirement for market survival. Continuous
innovation is nothing else but implementation of new knowledge in order to ensure continuous growth of
value added.
If that can be done then all the presumptions for market domination are given. Thorough analysis of market
position (benchmarking) has to show where the company is positioned in relation to its competitors in order
to ensure leadership and the necessary quantity of output.
Continuous investment in developing employee’s competences, meaning their knowledge and capabilities.
Employees are the carriers of knowledge, which is the crucial substance of products and services. Hence,
this substance has to be continuously improved in order to provide new results.
By following the above, results in continuous growth of value added are likely to be achieved and thus a safe
future of company and workplaces ensured.
4. Efciency in Value Creation
Creating value added is not enough; it has to be done efciently as well. Efciency means creating more and
more value with one invested monetary unit in utilized resources – nancial and intellectual capital. In the
old times productivity meant producing more and more physical units in a certain period of time, today we
can see productivity as producing more value per invested monetary unit in each of the resources.
This means that for each sector average efciency can be calculated in order to provide orientation for
companies. For example, let us take that average intellectual capital efciency in retail is 2,15. Companies
below this efciency have a very specic goal: do whatever they can to achieve sector average. Others have
to focus on retaining the leading position with regard to value creation efciency. It is a huge advantage that
one strong criterion has been introduced that indicates their market position.
What is gained by this? A realistic new system is introduced that brings order into business, similar to
Taylor’s system of manual work improvement. The introduction of time, as criteria for manual work ope-
rations, provided a base for productivity increase in those days. Similar to that today, the criteria of value
17 Financial Times Deutschland, 5.1.2008.
creation per invested monetary unit intellectual capital efciency is introduced providing a base for
productivity increase of knowledge workers.
5. Increasing the Level of Intellectual Capital Efciency
As much as it is important to monitor value creation, it is vital to take care of the efciency of resources uti-
lized in business. Herewith, the relationship between the created value added and intellectual capital (human
and structural) is of decisive importance. In order to receive a general overview of productivity at all levels
(processes, units, companies, regions, nations) parameters are provided:
Efciency Description of efciency levels
2,50 (Or more) is a sign of very successful business performance. This result is mainly received by
companies from hi-tech businesses and other conjunctive sectors. This is the lowest level of
efciecy that can really ensure safe business and workplaces.
2,00 This is a minimum for efcient business performance in most sectors (enough value is being
created in order to cover for employees’ salaries, amortization, bank interests, taxes, dividends to
shareholders). Enough is left for intensive investment in development.
1,75 Business is in relatively good shape but does not guarantee long term safety. All liabilities are
liquidated, however, there is not enough for business investments and therefore future business
success is uncertain.
1,25 Worrying – survival of company is endangered – not enough value is created to ensure business
development. Some inputs are not covered, as well as some liabilities towards stakeholders.
1,00 Much worrying, on the edge of the survival – OUTPUT is insufcient for covering all inputs
necessary for operational business – with this efciency only labor expenses are covered. In case
that efciency is below 1, then not enough value is created to cover obligations towards employees.
6. Control of Value Added and Efciency
The process is a group of tasks, where it is possible to trace precisely how much value it creates. Creating
new products or services includes various activities that are realized through processes. In some of them
value is created and in some it is destroyed. Therefore, it is important to have insight into the contribution
of each process to value creation and efciency, both, short and long term.
In order to nd out the efciency of intellectual capital it is necessary to identify the processes that destroy
value, which are the ones that work below company’s efciency average. Possible causes have to be found
and eliminated if possible. This should become a key activity in all companies and I think that it is impossi-
ble to lead a company without such insights.
Therefore, thorough and continuous control of value creation is a must. This is not just a talk, but an ongo-
ing task, even a mission. In order to increase value creation of the company successfully it is necessary to
determine how much value is created in each process and, if possible, for each workplace. It is the only way
to get an idea of company’s weak and strong parts.
Even if a company creates value successfully at company level there are units, where value is destroyed. Here
we do refer to general jobs such as accounting or HRM. These departments have a supporting function to the
core activity, and therefore need to be related to value creation. It is of a crucial importance to locate company
parts, which are focused on core business activities but destroy value. It is here that improvements have to be
done rst. This way, by controlling value creation in processes, knowledge based business is possible.
This is not only true for current business It is of no less importance to control the effects on value creati-
on caused by decisions on key issues. This means that each action, primarily by management, but other
employees as well, has signicant inuence on company’s value creating or destroying ability. Analysis
of management’s decision making and its impact on value creation has to become an important part of the
decision-making process.
If these conditions are not met, we talk about value destruction. The following situations are signals warning
of possible problems in current business:
The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency - A Brief Description
l fall of value added in relation to the former period,
l fall of value creation efciency,
l efciency that is below the average of the environment, companies’ and national.
l increase of value added which is lower than ination.
The rst alarming signal is a decrease of value added in relation to the former period. If value added inside
the company is monitored on a continuous basis it is less probable that top management will be taken by
surprise. Even if such a situation occurs management should do its best not to let it continue for a longer
time period.
It is important to stress that not each decrease is a tragedy. For example, due to certain investments, a fall of
efciency could happen and is completely normal. Since returns on investments can be expected decrease
will surely not last for long in such a case.
A fall of value creation efciency in relation to former periods, e.g. the previous year, means value destruc-
tion as well. A certain efciency level tells us how much of the resources – intellectual and nancial capital
– are needed in order to create a certain mass of value added. Basically, that level is determined by compa-
nies’, sectors’ or national economy’s average efciency level. A fall of efciency below that level means
that more resources had to be engaged in order to create the same mass of value added.
For example, let us take a situation where average intellectual capital efciency is 3,15 on company level.
Each company consists of organizational units, subsidiaries or similar entities. Efciency results of each
one generate average company’s efciency. This general, average efciency, is only a result of the units
below and above average company’s efciency. All units that operate below the average efciency actually
destroy value. Reason: they use more resources to create a single unit of added value than it is necessary on
the company level.
One other way of destroying value is efciency that is below average of the business environment. Let us
take the former example, a company with average efciency of 3,15. If the productivity of IC in that sector
is 5,50 (like e.g. in telecommunications) then the mentioned company is destroying value as well since it
is performing below sector average. The reason is the same: more resourses have been utilized than it is
average in that sector.
7. Continuous Elimination of Value Destruction
In order to keep the business productivity increasing, control of intellectual capital efciency is necessary,
starting at business processes that destroy value. Experience has shown that solving problems is less a pro-
blem than detecting the areas, where value is being destroyed. After such analysis, some of the companies
were truly surprised to nd value destruction in those company units, which were classied as successful
Creation of any product or service requires manifold activities. Some of them add to value creation some
do not. It is very important to know what each activity is doing with regard to value creation, short and long
term. Only because a company creates value as a whole it does not mean that there are no units/parts where
value is not destroyed.
Improvement of business processes where value is destroyed leads to an increase of efciency in critical
parts of the company as well as of company’s total efciency. Value creation efciency or inefciency of
each unit transfers to total efciency of the company. That is valid for all levels of business (from the busi-
ness processes to the national and global economy).
8. Efciency Remuneration
Intellectual capability is based on the potential of employees. Their knowledge and capability transformed
into value at the market are the fundaments of contemporary business and will be in the future as well. It is
therefore of utmost importance to exactly dene the remuneration which the employees ought to receive for
their intellectual efforts.
In the past that was dependent on two factors: the time spent at work and the quantity of physical output.
Today, that is not valid any more since individual and group value creators (the knowledge workers) have
entered the scene. Therefore, remuneration has to be based on the capability of individuals to rstly create
value, and secondly, to do it efciently.
The principle “as much my work contributes to value creation and increases efciency” would be a fair
criteria for remuneration of employees and management.
This criterion is actually in use today, in the form of employees’ participation as shareholders, especially in
high-tech businesses. However, only a small number of employees is encompassed by this way of remune-
ration. Therefore this practice should be expanded to all work places where it is possible.
The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency - A Brief Description
The presented principles shall be used for elimination of all kinds of losses, which might occur at all levels
of business activity. If non efciencies are spotted they can be removed with help of the principles and there
is no company that could not increase its efciency and thus contribute to more efcient national economy
by applying them. How come this can be claimed with certainty? Because now, causes for inefciencies can
precisely be pin pointed by recording in which way they diverge from one or more listed principles.
As Frederick W. Taylor introduced control of movement and time necessary to perform manual work at the
beginning of 20th ct., now, at the beginning of 21st, the approach described in this paper, introduces control
of value creation and efciency, not only with company units but also within a national economy.
Owners (in any form, state, shareholders, funds) are the ones who will face the challenge rst: they now have
instruments to control management. Calculation of average efciency on national or sector level is used as a
base for benchmarking of all companies. Under such conditions, the mode of ownership is not important any
more. What is important? It is enough that the owner determines the level of efciency management ought
to achieve.18 This might not suit many managers but it is the only way to increase productivity.
We have to start accepting the fact that economy has faced a Copernican change, based on a totally new
worldview and occurring events. For a long time people believed that the sun was circling around the earth
and that was the accepted reality. No one even doubted that something could be wrong with that notion until
500 years ago, when Copernicus provided a totally different explanation the earth is circling around the
sun. This shift in world view was not caused by a change of natural ows – the movements of the planets
were the same all the time – but due to a new interpretation of existing reality. And this is what we are doing
now, interpreting existing economic reality of companies and national economies in a new way, by introdu-
cing new principles of intellectual capital productivity.
In the end I will repeat one more time: it is impossible not to increase efciency of value creation if everyt-
hing said in this paper is done. The advantages and benets, which arise from it will make everybody happy:
the employees who will be able to keep their jobs with their families, the shareholders, because they will ac-
hieve the goal of their investments, the state, because it will have more money for social and other programs,
management, because it was successful in fullling its business and social function. In short: continuous
increase of value creation efciency leads to individual as well as wealth of nations.
18 In particular, this is crucial with state or para state owned companies. For the past decades, there has been a story going on, that
these companies can not be efcient (protable), since the state is a bad owner. Although there are many examples that this does
not have to be true, now the alledged reasons cease to be valid. The state, as any owner, can require a certain efciency level for
all companies it owns, depending on the sector and market position.
2003. 2004. 2005. 2006. 2007.
From: 2000 – 2005:
l the time needed to build a ship has been reduced by 54% (green columns)
l reduction of effective working hours by 65% (red line)
«The case study of our company indicates that by applying the principles of intellectual capital efciency,
combined with the application of the VAIC™ methodology – which helps to visualise the intellectual ability
of the whole system and the processes - as well as by using the knowledge, the talent and the creativity of
our employees, it has been possible to achieve continuous improvement of business results.»
Dr. Klaudio Tominović
Director of Intellectual captal
“The principles have opened new perspectives and helped us to increase value added of our business pro-
cesses. This concept has enabled us to control value creation and efciency in all of our 23 prot centers.
This way, we have been able to increase business efciency year by year. The principles have proved to be
of great benet to CEO and management. Of course, just for those who are capable of coping with reality,
no matter how positive or negative it is.”
Predrag Mikulčić, CEO
The Efciency by the Application of Principles of IC Efciency Shipyard ULJANIK
The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency - A Brief Description
The Loss by Ignoring Principles of IC Efciency
Example 1: ERICSSON NT – Croatia
Although revenue keeps increasing continuously,
value addedd oscillates
In 2004 at each € invested in employees more than
2,5 € value added was created. In 2007 only slightly
above 1,5 €, one € less than four years ago
Or, even more specically:
in 2004 investments in employees: 35.428.877 €. Value added was: 91.812.545 €
in 2007 52.132.778 € 89.252.508 €
Loss due to fall of IC productivity was: 45.771.372 €
Example 2: InBev Croatia - world’s leading brewer
In this case the trends of revenue and value added
In 2005 at each € invested in employees more than
5 € value added was created. In 2007 value creation
was 3,5 € per 1 € invested in employees .
Or, even more specically:
in 2004 investments in employees 12.381.861 €. Value added was: 53.556.077 €
in 2007 14.363.346 € 50.689.171 €
Loss due to fall of IC productivity was: 8.932.008 €
The Caluclation of Value Added and Intellectual Capital Efciency
1. The business result is value added, which is calculated as the difference between output and
input. The basic denition is as follows:
Where: VA = value added for company
OUT = total Sales
IN = cost of bought – in materials, components and services
Value added can be calculated from company’s accounts as follows:
VA = P + C + D + A
Where: P = operating prot
C = employee costs
D = depreciation
A = amortisation
2. Human capital efciency is received as a result:
Where: HCE = human capital efciency coefcient for company
VA = value added
HC = total salaries and wages for company
3. Structural capital, as the second component of IC is calculated as following:
SC = VA - HC
Where: SC = structural capital for company
VA = value added
HC = total salary and wage duty’s for company
4. Structural capital efciency (SCE) is calculated in the following manner:
Where: SCE = structural capital efciency for company
SC = structural capital
VA = value added
5. By adding up the partial efciencies of human and structural capital the Intellectual Capital Efciency
(ICE) is obtained:
Where: ICE = intellectual capital efciency coefcient
HCE = human capital efciency coefcient
SCE = structural capital efciency coefcient
The Principles of Intellectual Capital Efciency - A Brief Description
6. Capital Employed Efciency is calculated in the following manner:
Where: CEE = capital employed efciency coefcient
VA = value added
CE = book value of the net asset for a company
7. Until now the formulas for the value creation indicators have been presented, but in order to enable
comparison of overall value creation efciency all indicators need to be added:
Where: VAIC® = value added intellectual coefcient
ICE = intellectual capital efciency coefcient (HCE + SCE)
CEE = capital employed efciency coefcient
This aggregated indicator indicates the overall efciency of a company and indicates its intellectual ability
of value creation. In simple words VAIC indicates how much new value has been created per invested mo-
netary unit in each resource. The higher this coefcient the better the company’s intellectual capital, which
creates value more and more efciently.
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... For this research intellectual capital is calculated using the VAIC TM formula consisting of STVA, VACA and VAHU which has been used by many researcher was developed by (Pulic, 1998(Pulic, , 1999Pulić, 2008;Pulic, 2004a In this study, company size is used as a mediating variable, company size is a picture of the size of a company. Total assets can be used to calculate the size of the company, therefore the size of the company can be projected with log of total assets. ...
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... Pulic (1998) used the Skandia model to measure the efficiency with which IC is employed, proposing the value-added intellectual capital (VAIC™) model, which measures the efficiency with which a firm employs different types of capital. Specifically, the model uses capital employed efficiency (CEE), which explains the value created per one monetary unit of shareholder capital [17]; human capital efficiency (HCE) measures the created value per one monetary unit invested in the companies employees, and structural capital efficiency (SCE) measures the created value per one monetary unit invested in SC [33]. ...
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... ROA is a traditional accounting performance measure widely used in the literature as a key performance indicator (Berger et al., 2010;Duho & Onumah, 2019;Githaiga, 2020). VAIC model developed by Pulic (1998Pulic ( , 2000Pulic ( , 2001Pulic ( , 2008 was dwelt upon as an independent variable that comprised the three elements. These elements were HCE, SCE, and CEE, defined in Table 1. ...
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... The value-added itself can be calculated by finding the difference between output and input. Output is reflected by sales; input is all expenses to obtain output (Pulić, 2008). ...
... The value-added itself can be calculated by finding the difference between output and input. Output is reflected by sales; input is all expenses to obtain output (Pulić, 2008). ...
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Intellectual capital is widely recognized as one of the most important assets in modern businesses, but it is only reported in the financial statement in certain conditions. This study aims to evaluate the role of value-added intellectual capital (VAIC) in moderating the relationship between earnings management and financial performance. This research uses data from non-financial companies listed on the Singapore Exchange and Indonesia Stock Exchange covering the period of 2016-2021, with a total of 3,303 firm-year observations. VAIC is measured using Pulic's intellectual capital model and earnings management using the Kasznik Model (1999). This study uses multiple linear regressions to examine the relationship between variables. The findings indicate that earnings management has no significant effect on the financial performance of Singapore, but it has a significant positive effect on the financial performance of Indonesia. Furthermore, this study discovers that intellectual capital moderates the relationship between earnings management and financial performance in both countries differently, that intellectual capital moderation is positive (negative) for the Singapore (Indonesia) sample. These findings suggest that the role of intellectual capital varies depending on stock exchanges; Singapore is considered a developed country in Southeast Asia, whilst Indonesia is considered a developing one. This study concludes that the role of intellectual capital in the relationship between earnings management and financial performance varies between market characteristics and across industries.
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The purposes of the research were to analyze the impact of intellectual capital on banking financial performance. Intellectual capital in this study was measured with the method of Value-Added Intellectual Capital (VAIC). The banking financial performance was measured with the indicator of profitability ratio and capital ratio. The hand of profitability ratio is Return on Asset (ROA) and Net Interest Margin (NIM), While the indicator used to measure the capital ratio is Capital Adequacy Ratio. The sample used in this study is 125 observed data of 25 banks listed on the Indonesia Stock Exchange for 2016-2020, which met the criteria determined. Data were analyzed using WarpPLS 7.0 software. This study shows that overall intellectual capital, which VAIC measures, has a positive and significant impact on ROA. Still, it does not substantially impact NIM and does not affect CAR. However, one of the components of intellectual capital, HCE and SCE, partially has the most significant impact on forming VAIC and has a positive and significant effect on ROA and NIM. This IC component is believed to be able to improve the company’s performance in the current era of rapid technological development
The study examines the effect of intellectual capital on financial performance of listed agricultural firms in Nigeria. Proxies to measure intellectual capital are human capital and structural capital, while the financial performance is peroxide by return on equity. The study concentrated on the period from 2011 to 2020. Panel data was used to analyze the data sourced from the individual financial reports of the listed agricultural sectors. The sample adopted four (4) listed agricultural firms out the five (5) in Nigeria due to inconsistent data. The study employed panel regression model to estimate the key relationship between intellectual capital and return on equity. The result shows that human capital has significant effect on return on equity. Also, the result shows that structural capital has no significant effect on return on equity. The study recommends that managers of agricultural firms should put great emphasis on human capital investment, by improving employees’ quality by continuous training, and also to recruit high-level talents. Also, the management should pay attention to the accumulation of proprietary knowledge base such as the patent right and information system.
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The parallel development of theories and practice in Sweden and in the US laid the foundation for a first standard for accounting in the Knowledge Economy, featuring three categories of Intangible Assets plus a fourth category, financial assets. The practical results suggest that it is useful to measure Intangible assets and that it is possible for managers to manage without relying primarily on the traditional financial indicators. KE Sveiby's Comment 2018: This article was published 1998. It is useful as a historical record and for description of the second version of the Intangible Assets Monitor (the original three value creating flows increased to four.)
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The application of proper measurement to a company generating products, services, cash flow and reputation largely from intellectual capital (IC) assets is examined. The particular focus is to measure the organisation so that the contributions of intangibles to the business are measured in their own right. If the measurements are feasible in practice (they are), they will render the tangible as well as the intangible assets of a company to be managed explicitly. Then the contributions of the intangibles to cash flow become measurable, and thence on to estimates of business value, and shareholder value. Shows that the process view of an organisation deconstructs the “classical” structure of IC categories and formulations, and rearranges them in a form whose state and process variables are observable, measurable, and properly dimensioned for a multidimensional measuring space. Ends with a demonstration of the method applied to a hotel organisation that exemplifies many of the problems of measuring and optimising IC assets.
The existing accounting system cannot meet the requirements of modern companies any more because not costs but value creation is the core of modern business. If a company aims to achieve a maximum result with its given resources management must know how successfully they create value in the company. Information provided by a basic economic function - measuring the efficiency of value creation - is therefore decisive for successful management of intellectual assets. The VAIC™ method measures and monitors the value creation efficiency in the company using accounting based figures. The better a company's resources (capital employed and intellectual capital) have been utilised, the higher the company's value creation efficiency will be (whereby human capital, as the decisive value creation factor of modern business). This results in an increase of value added on the one hand and determines the market value on the other hand, as our research has shown.
Taking into account the transformation in economic reality towards a knowledge economy it seems logical that we treat IC as a resource, equal to that land, physical assets, and financial capital. This means that it is not anymore treated as a cost but as an investment. In order for the new system to be consistent we have to define a new index, namely the value creation efficiency of intellectual capital. Its empirical applications shows that while revenue, profit and GDP may indicate successful performance, IC efficiency may indicate the opposite, that value is being destroyed and not created.
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