Intellectual Capitaland Competitive Advantage in the Globalization Context

An Empirical Analysis of creative industries in ChinaCreative industries in China
  • Ru-Yan Hong
  • Xiao-Bo Wu


This chapter is to investigate and to test empirically the association between a firm’s intellectual capital (IC) and its competitive advantage in the globalization context. This study first identified IC sub-components as drivers believed to be important in enhancing competitive advantage on the basis of the in-depth interviews with firms. Next, the study’s insights are combined with those available in the relevant literatures to have developed the hypotheses. These hypotheses are examined using data collected from 168 Chinese creative enterprises by means of “on-site” survey. Finally, the conclusion comes out with a discussion of managerial implications and suggestions for future research. After definitions are clearly developed for leading elements of IC, results from statistical analysis revealed that sub-components of IC have almost positive direct relationships with a firm’s competitive advantage. These findings are consistent with resource-based view propositions in the IC literature indicating that intellectual capital is a valuable, non-substitutable, and inimitable strategic resource and with similar propositions in knowledge-based theory concerning knowledge-based resources and capabilities. However, control variables including external environment and firm size have significantly negative relationships with a company’s competitive advantage. These results suggest that an effort to enhance firm’s competitiveness by investing in IC is important in the globalization context.This research helps not only managers investigate and identify pertinent IC configurations but also directors pay careful attention to managing organizational “soft assets” - IC to obtain sustainable competitive advantage in the fast and furious international competition.The authors believe that most knowledge development efforts in IC and CIs have focused on Western economies and companies; considering its size, rapid growth rate, and market reforms, China has emerged as an important new context for CIs development; current understanding of the factors associated with IC management successes in China remains limited. So this paper addresses this knowledge gap, proposes a clear study framework and uses mixed methods for CIs in china to guide future research.


Competitive Advantage Structural Capital Intellectual Capital Sustainable Competitive Advantage Creative Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ru-Yan Hong
    • 1
  • Xiao-Bo Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.College of Management, Zhejiang UniversityZhejiangChina

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