Intellectual Capital

Intellectual Capital Meaning

Intellectual Capital is the knowledge of organization’s human resource that can be used for money-making or other useful purpose or any other information or knowledge that provide the organization with a competitive advantage. In other words it is an asset of the company as it is the informational resources which company can use at its disposal for making profits, attracting customers, creating a new product, enhancing existing product or improve business.


Intellectual capital is considered as a business asset as any organization contributes for employee training, enhancing customers relationship, product development, goodwillGoodwillIn accounting, goodwill is an intangible asset that is generated when one company purchases another company for a price that is greater than the sum of the company's net identifiable assets at the time of acquisition. It is determined by subtracting the fair value of the company's net identifiable assets from the total purchase more building, etc. it includes human capital, relational capital, structural capital, intellectual property, know-how, copyrights, patents or any other information or resources that give a competitive advantage. It is difficult to measure only goodwill, patents, and copyright to be recognized that, too, if quantifiable all rest are difficult to measure and hence cannot be recognized in the accounts.

Intellectual Capital

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Components of Intellectual Capital

#1 – Human Capital

Human capital includes employees, their knowledge and experience, the organization’s relationship with employees, employee training and appraisal, employee satisfaction, employee review about the organization, etc. all contribute to the capital of the organization. If an organization has a lower employee turnover rate, then there are chances of high intellectual capital.

Example – Leadership and managerial skills, key employees and their knowledge, professional competencies, work ethics, and work culture, employee training, etc.

#2 – Relational Capital

Relational capital includes the organization’s relationship with employees, its investors, its customers, its supplier’s, etc. review of all investors, customers, suppliers, employees all matters. Feedback of all also matters and ways of improving and developing etc. contribute to relational capital. If an organization has low employee turnover, honest customers, etc. then it has a high intellectual capital base.

Example – Customer satisfaction, relationship with employees, customers and stakeholders, contracts with service providers, reputation in the community, investor feedback rating, etc.

#3 – Structural Capital

It is organization processes, databases, policies, culture, vision, mission and value statement, etc. contribute to the capital of the organization. If the organization’s work culture is good, and it provides quality products and its reputation in the market, its competitive advantage, etc. are real intellectual capital for the organization.

Example – Vision, Mission, Structures, goals of the organization, its work culture, its approach towards employees training and providing knowledge, its tools, programs ways of working, and best practices.

For a company like Infosys its employees working with them, work culture, client relationships, investor relationships, key employees, training process, its reputation in the industry, its work culture, vision, mission and values, databases, the experience of employees and management, etc. are the intellectual capital.

Similarly, SONY is known for its quality products, so the main intellectual asset for Sony is its quality services and reputation in the market.


  • Measurement of intellectual capital is difficult in financial terms; hence it cannot be recognized in the accounts only goodwill, know-how, copyrights, patents, etc. to be recognized in the accounts if they are measurable.
  • It is non-financial capital and very important for the organization, and it’s the real wealth of the organization. Though measurement in financial terms is difficult, in non-financial terms and real wealth, it is of much value. If the organization has satisfied employees, investors, and customers, then it is the real wealth of the organization and an indicator that its intellectual capital is high.


  • Intellectual capital is all that the organization has at its disposal, i.e., if the organization has nothing in terms of financial terms its non-financial capital can revive the business by applying the knowledge, developing new products, creating new customers, and all other information that can contribute and give competitive advantage and gives the addition in terms of intellectual capital. It is most important for any organization as it’s the real capital and worth of the company through which the company can also restart at zero.
  • It adds to the reputation of the organization in the market. Hence it is most important for the survival of the organization. For making organization at the top there is the contribution of human efforts like employees, management, suppliers, customers, etc. and there is also the contribution of work culture, the relationship of the organization with internal and external human contributors, relationship with investors, goals, and vision of the organization, etc. and if all these factors are favorable, then the organization can survive in the market for many decades also and hence it has very high intellectual capital.


Intellectual Capital is the capital that adds to the wealth of the organization. It includes relational capital, human capital, and structural capital. All the things or procedures which add to the competitive advantage and can be used for creating money can be added to the intellectual capital of the company. It is the real wealth of an organization in terms of name, fame, and values, etc.

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