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Journal cover: Journal of Intellectual Capital

Journal of Intellectual Capital

ISSN: 1469-1930

Online from: 2000

Subject Area: Information and Knowledge Management

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Towards a critical societal knowledge management

Document Information:
Title:Towards a critical societal knowledge management
Author(s):Jonna Käpylä, (Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)
Citation:Jonna Käpylä, (2012) "Towards a critical societal knowledge management", Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 13 Iss: 3, pp.288 - 304
Keywords:Critical approach, Discourse, Intellectual capital, Knowledge management, Measurement, National intellectual capital, Society
Article type:Conceptual paper
DOI:10.1108/14691931211248873 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:This paper originated during a research project called “Intellectual capital as a driver of national economy in Finland” funded by The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (TEKES). The author would like to thank the whole research team, especially professor Antti Lönnqvist and research assistant Henna Salonius for their valuable insights, as well as the conference participants of the 7th EIASM Interdisciplinary Workshop on “Intangibles, Intellectual Capital & Extra-Financial Information” (held in Warsaw, Poland, 29-30 September 2011) for their comments on the earlier version of the manuscript.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to tackle the problem of societal knowledge management from the perspective of critical management research. The focus is on national intellectual capital analysis as part of societal knowledge management. First, the aim is to identify the dominant discourse that governs the discussion around national intellectual capital and its measurement. Second, the aim is to explore the prospects for an alternative conceptualisation and to propose a heuristic tool through which it is possible to approach national intellectual capital and its measurement in a critical, informed and analytic way.

Design/methodology/approach – The study takes a critical standpoint and leans loosely on the methodology of critical discourse analysis by Norman Fairclough.

Findings – The paper argues for the emancipation of national intellectual capital from the orthodoxy that relates it to economic growth, quantitative measurement, objectivity and universality towards a discourse that regards the value of national intellectual capital and its analysis more broadly, recognising the contextual and subjective nature of national intellectual capital.

Research limitations/implications – The conceptual analysis provides a basis for further empirical assessment of national intellectual capital.

Societal implications – The paper offers a critical conceptual lens through which to approach societal knowledge management. The constructed heuristic tool for analysing national intellectual capital can serve as a basis for strategic knowledge-based development.

Originality/value – The paper offers a critical reflection of intellectual capital on the national/societal level and a starting point for critical societal knowledge management.

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