Categories of Intellectual Capital Disclosed by Service-based Companies in Botswana

Byron A. Brown, Afifa Patel, Veronica Ofaletse


While many service based companies globally have valued and utilised their intellectual capitals to gain competitive advantage, many service-oriented companies in African nations such as Botswana have not done the same. But with the rapid decline in mineral resources in Botswana, and the government’s economic diversification drive, service-oriented companies are being encouraged by the government to contribute more to the economy. Weak understanding of the intellectual capitals constrained service-based companies from capitalizing on their assets for competitive advantage or other benefits. Harnessing these assets is critical to business diversification. This study investigated the varieties of intellectual capital disclosed by five service-based companies operating in the Botswana context. Using an interpretive approach, with documents as data sources, we found all three varieties of intellectual capital disclosed: human, structural and relational. The motives for disclosing these assets were linked to factors inside and others outside the companies. But while intellectual capital was disclosed, the reporting was sporadic. The value of intellectual capital that managers articulated in their rhetoric was absent in practice. Various implications are discussed. The study is of benefit to corporate managers, investors, academics and policymakers who are keen about intellectual capital development.

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Journal of Management and Strategy
ISSN 1923-3965 (Print)   ISSN 1923-3973 (Online)


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