After three largely successful scientific events in 2005 (Ferrara), 2006 (Maastricht) and 2007 (Ferrara) , the annual EIASM Workshop on intangibles and intellectual capital research issues is affirming itself as the most important and consolidated regular occasion in Europe for scholars from different fields to present and discuss their works in such a rapidly expanding area. \ud The attendance of more than 100 scholars in each of the previous Workshops, as well as the submission of around 80 papers in both these instances, demonstrate the vitality of this research field and its continuous, and actually growing, appeal for scholarly inquiry. \ud Indeed, it is today generally recognised that business enterprises are rapidly changing, where the major drivers of such a discontinuity have an intangible nature and are largely dependent upon organisational knowledge creation, accumulation and appropriation (e.g. patents). Brands, research and innovation, quality of management, competencies and capabilities, organisational culture and climate are only a few examples of those decisive intangible assets. Firms are also becoming increasingly involved in complex networks of alliances deriving their value and growth primarily from intangibles. Knowledge intensive organizations in a multitude of industries – ranging from pharmaceutical, biotech, software up to education – have indeed solid economic reasons for developing and knowing more about their intangibles. \ud Also not-for-profit entities (such as universities, cities, regions, hubs) seem more and more often to realize that their very raison d’être is intangible in nature, that is to contribute to collective knowledge, well-being and well-offness. \ud A new research arena has therefore emerged and attracted the attention of a large and diversified number of scholars. \ud Alongside those well-known research issues, new intangibles-related topics appear to emerge and intertwine with the more explored ones. For instance, the role of technology (i.e., XBRL) and institutions (i.e., SEC, Japanese Governments, EFFAS) in pushing and expanding information on intangibles and IC and its uses and users; the macro-perspectives on intangibles measurement and management; the financial analysis of such information and its usefulness; the probing of the linkage between intangibles and value creation; the ambiguous relationship on theoretical and practical grounds of IC management reporting with sustainability, social, and environmental counterparts; the modelling, measurement, and management of risks conceived as intangible liabilities (e.g. reputational risk); and so on. \ud In the light of the above considerations, the 4th EIASM Worksop on “Visualising, Managing, and Measuring Intangibles and Intellectual Capital” intends to propose itself as a further step towards the widening and strengthening of the scholarly “intangibles community”. A distinctive aspect of such a community is its profound interdisciplinary nature and its open attitude towards all the scientific areas and disciplinary angles in the studying of intangibles. In confirming this feature, this Workshop aims to attract all the scholars who wish to give a contribution to this field from various perspectives – offering them a unique platform to present their research plans and findings –, and to exchange views and ideas with colleagues of the same or other disciplines interested in intangibles and intellectual capital issues
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