Intellectual capital

A company’s intellectual capital is not visible in the balance sheet, but it is an important indicator of whether or not the company is likely to be successful. However, it can be difficult to calculate the value of intellectual capital in terms of actual kronor. Intellectual capital is usually split into human capital and structural capital.

Human capital is about the company’s employees and what they can add. What knowledge exists? What does the company’s management look like? What administrative and entrepreneurial expertise exists? What are relations within the company like? This aspect of the intellectual capital is considered to be “transient” - people fall ill, take parental leave, return or move on to a new job. A company’s human capital can grow in numerous ways, e.g. through the company making better use of the human resources that are available to it, through the employees gaining more qualifications or otherwise acquiring new knowledge or experiences which can benefit the company or through the company appointing or otherwise establishing links with people who can boost the intellectual capital.

Structural capital is the other aspect of what is usually known as intellectual capital. Structural capital is normally divided into customer capital and organisation capital.

‘Customer capital’ refers to the value of the relations that the company has with the people they do business with. Satisfied, loyal customers increase the value of the customer capital. 

Organisation capital includes intangible assets such as patent and trademark rights, trade secrets and work processes. 

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