Putting intangible assets management to work

Camilo Augusto Sequeira, Eloi Fernández y Fernández


The intention of this paper is to present the initial pilot test results of an integrated model for managing intangible resources called Intangible Assets Management. The method comprises three main phases: Qualitative Analysis or Evaluation; Quantitative Analysis or Valuation; Decision Making Support. Historically, business practitioners and scholars have tended to focus on methods based on qualitative analysis (See Andriessen's "Making Sense of Intellectual Capital" (2004), Viedma's "Intellectual Capital Benchmarking System" (2006), and Alwert, K.; Bornemann, M.; Will, M. (2007). However, the aim of this paper is to demonstrate the importance to managers of quantitative analysis, i.e., the valuation phase in administering intangible assets. Furthermore, by means of the valuation process, the method seeks to alert managers to the generalization that the best returns likely come from intangible resources; in this manner, we hope to contribute to a move away from the traditional management paradigm of focusing exclusively on tangible assets. Over the course of the qualitative analysis, or evaluation phase, Intangible Assets (IAs) are identified, mapped, and individually considered as a set of Sources of Added Value(SAV). Note, however, that each Intangible Asset also impacts the Underlying Asset (UA) that represents the financial results to the organization. Additionally, the paper describes the valuation phase, comprised of a library of methods to evaluate assets, including the Real Options Valuation (ROV) method. Since intangible assets present intrinsic future risks and uncertainties, the availability of the real options concept is the best way to manage such uncertainties. As a consequence, managers have the flexibility to deal with any scenario that might present itself vis-à-vis intangible assets (subject of a future paper). Although the method was developed for a major energy company, it can be implemented in any business unit, department or organization. After an in-depth description of the method, the preliminary results are discussed.



Intellectual capital, Intangible assets, Valuation, Real options, Added value, Organizational competencies, Business processes.

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