Archive for April, 2008
By making the traditionally intangible aspects of an organisation tangible, managers can benefit from superior information and greater choice. This new perspective combines insights and knowledge that would previously only have been available by chance alone with a comprehensive view of the organisation in question.
Factors that Drive Intangibles
The recognition and subsequent rise in the importance and value of intangibles has been an ongoing feature of management for some time. Examples such as Knowledge Management, Balanced Scorecards (BSC) and Strategic Planning all attempt to quantify and make tangible aspects of an organisation that are initially intangible in nature.
While there are many examples of tools and techniques to make information more tangible, it is also useful to ask why this trend has been put in motion and what advantages are available from it. The three ideas below are by no means exhaustive, but are an attempt to shed light on the factors that drive the importance of intangibles.
The economic aspect of intangibles looks at two main areas. The first is a broad consensus that intangibles contribute to superior financial performance. Examples include linking activities such as brand valuation, human capital and innovation to increased shareholder returns. A second economic aspect of intangibles looks at increasing efficiency and reducing costs through an improved understanding of intangible costs and the factors of production. Activity based costing is one example of this approach and by better understanding the tangible and intangible costs of production, it is possible to generate improvements and efficiencies in resource allocation.