It is difficult, if not impossible, to derive meaningful and objective measures for intangible assets

[German title: Es ist schwierig, wenn nicht unmöglich, aussagekräftige und objektive Maßstäbe für immaterielle Vermögenswerte herzuleiten]

Title: Measuring and managing intangible value drivers 
Author(s): Bernard Marr 
Journal: Business Strategy Series 
ISSN: 1751-5637 
Year: 2007 Volume: 8 Issue: 3 Page: 172 – 178 
DOI: 10.1108/17515630710684169 
Publisher: Emerald Group Publishing Limited 

Abstract: Purpose – Intangible assets are seen as critical drivers of future performance for most organizations. For this reason many managers endeavor to better measure and manage those intangible value drivers. This article explores the challenges of measuring and managing intangibles.
Design/methodology/approach – Guided by practical experiences, case examples, and theory, this article systematically outlines how to tackle the problems we face when measuring aspects of organizations that are inherently difficult to measure.
Findings – There are different reasons for measuring and managing intangibles in organizations. Some require objectivity (accounting, external reporting), whereas others focus on the informative value (internal reporting, strategic decision making). It is difficult, if not impossible, to derive meaningful and objective measures for intangible assets.
Practical implications – Instead of trying to quantify the unquantifiable for accounting and objective external reporting purposes, managers should design indicators that can be used to assess performance of intangible elements in order to guide management decision-making and strategic learning.
Originality/value – This article, based the book Strategic Performance Management, outlines why striving for objectivity can yield meaningless performance indicators and dysfunctional behavior. The real value is derived from indicators that assist our day-to-day decision-making and organizational learning. 

Keywords: Control, Intangible assets, Learning organizations, Performance management, Performance measures, Strategic management 

Article Type: Viewpoint 

Article URL:

© Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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