Journal of the Knowledge Economy

, Volume 10, Issue 1, pp 147–167 | Cite as

The Effect of Intellectual Capital Drivers on Performance and Value Creation: the Case of Tunisian Non-financial Listed Companies

  • Inès Ben CheikhEmail author
  • Hédi NoubbighEmail author


The value of companies is traditionally estimated from the material wealth they hold. In the context of the knowledge economy (KE), these elements are no longer enough to estimate this value. Many authors are interested on new sources of value creation called immaterial. Nevertheless, the intangible elements, without physical or intangible substance, are difficultly taken into account by old accounting methods. The work done around our problem tries to define a model that reflects the overall performance of firms of the NE, by adding information about the intangibles to the old accounting data. The present study is looking for reliable measures of the performance of Tunisian firms which are operating in the new economy. The failure of accounting and financial data leads us to add other information. The pieces of information are related to intangible capital which is the main source of value creation for firms in the KE; however, they are ignored in traditional metrics. The results obtained, following the different operated regression, indicate the significance of the variables: “book value, BVE;” “return on equity, ROE;” and “return on assets, ROA.” However, the other ratios are insignificant. Furthermore, the explanatory power of the model is fairly low hovering around 20%. This result allows us to confirm the failure of classical accounting and financial data to translate firm performance of KE. Thus, we validated our initial hypothesis that stresses the usefulness of accounting and financial data in evaluating the performance of firms in the KE. Similarly, data on intangible capital is embodied in three aspects–structural, customer, and human–that play important roles in assessing this. The obtained results indicate that the explanatory power of the model, taking into account the intangible component, is higher than that based solely on the accounting and financial data. Indeed, adjusted R² lies in a range between 30 and 66%. This validates our second hypothesis on the role of intangibles in the chain of value creation. This study shows the important role of intangible capital information in the process of decision-making. Thus, investors and managers should give particular attention to immaterial components which allowed a better appreciation of the overall performance of Tunisian firms operating on NE. This is the contribution of our work.


Intangibles Intellectual capital Value creation Performance Human capital Structural capital Customer capital 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.High Institute of Accounting and Business AdministrationBizerteTunisia
  2. 2.Institute of Higher Commercial StudiesBizerteTunisia

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