Positioning firms in a new business performance space: an empirical study design on Euronext listed companies


Purpose - This research was designed to shed light on what is the role played by intellectual capital within firms for the achievement of leadership positions, according to two main perspectives: (i) intellectual capital commitment and (ii) financial/market performances.
Design/methodology/approach - An exploratory study design, involving 10-year data about 45 firms listed on Euronext 100, was devised. Firstly, firms were rated according to their intellectual capital commitment and their financial performances, by gathering indicators from a literature analysis; then, it was developed a new tool, was developed the Positioning Matrix, which is a new business space, where firms can be placed according to the rates received in the first phase. Finally, the authors analyzed all the changes that the sample firms experienced all over the ten years considered.
Findings - Findings showed how companies can get the market leadership by using strategies based on their intellectual capital commitment. It was empirically found that intellectual capital should be considered as a necessary, but not sufficient condition to be recognized amongst the market leaders.
Research limitations/implications - The main limitation of this study is that it is based on an empirical standpoint; therefore, it could be interesting to verify the findings by using quantitative approaches. Since there are no standard ways to disclose intellectual capital information, some companies had to be excluded from analysis.
Originality/value - This work was especially designed for practitioners who could use the Positioning Matrix to (i) figure out how intellectual capital could contribute to get a better position within the market and (ii) have a better understanding of the investments into intellectual capital made by other firms (i.e., competitors, partners, etc.) to get the market leadership.

Keywords: intellectual capital; business performances; financial performance evaluation, Euronext.
JEL Classification: 034, L1

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