Skip to main content

Intellectual Capital, Work and Well-being

Final Report Summary - IC-WELL (Intellectual Capital, Work and Well-being)

Following the project twofold aim of pursuing research objectives while gaining academic and professional maturity, during the project, the research fellow was proportionally involved in participative learning, in learning by doing, in active research, as well as in dissemination of research findings.

The Study
The aim of the project “Intellectual Capital, Work and Well-being” (IC-Well) was to explore how intangibles: intellectual capital (IC) and well-being (WB) impact on work and value creation process in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Research was undertaken in three European Union (EU) member states: Bulgaria, Finland and Scotland (United Kingdom), each representative of a different stage in the development of a knowledge-based economy. In the EU context the knowledge-based economy is related to the trends in economies towards greater dependence on knowledge, information and high skills levels, and the increasing need for ready access to all of these by the business and public sectors. The differences in the progress of EU member-states toward knowledge-based economy development are due to the different capabilities of national economies, resources limitations and acknowledgment of some key factors impacting on its development. The project looks at what intellectual capital and well-being actually mean to management and why they should be regarded as an important part of everyday work of SMEs operating within the EU. The project drew data from EU and national organisations, and SMEs in the study countries from what were considered to be four growth areas in the service sector – information and communication technologies (ICT); finance; tourism; and care. These industries were selected on the basis of EU and national forecasts and socio-economic trends in employment (Tallberg et al., 2011).

Following the project objectives research addressed conceptual issues of the terms intellectual capital and well-being within the current state-of-the-art. Further, investigating the requirements the transition to a knowledge-based economy imposed on strategy management, new views for value creation and sustainable competitive advantage were explored. Driven by the desire to address some of the limitations of existing strategy models and taking a wider view of the specific features of intellectual capital an IC-based value creation model was offered. During the first stage of the project were developed frameworks of both IC and well-being to enable policies, strategies and everyday work in SMEs to be considered. The second stage of the project drew on data from 42 semi-structured interviews, a workplace survey and documentary evidence of the enterprises under study (Table 1 and Table 2).

Finally, following the data analysis research findings were communicated through four academic papers; briefing papers in Bulgarian and in English, presentations on conferences and workshops and a website. So far two of the articles are published in, and the other two are submitted to peer-reviewed journals. In addition another two articles, based on the research findings from the IC-Well project data analysis are in preparation. It is intended to submit both of them by the end of this year.