‘New rules for the new economy’ has been the punch line of many business publications authored by leading thinkers and researchers in the last few years (Kevin Kelly, 1998; OECD, 2000). However, following the collapse of the IT bubble many of these purported changes have not come to fruition. The old neo-liberal economic rules appear to have lingered relatively unscathed (Douglas et al., 2001; Cooper, 1997). A high level expert study (Eustace, 2000) conducted under the auspices of the European Commission (EC) investigated some of these issues and concluded that while the rules may stay the same, what will undoubtedly change is the way that companies build and extract value. The EC group and other researchers have suggested that, in the future, we will see companies striving to focus more specifically on the management of intangible assets (Brookings Institution, 2000; Eustace, 2000; Hand and Lev, 2003). The EC group reminded us that intangibles are not an entirely new concept but, differently from the past, ‘today a firm’s intangible assets are often the key element in its competitiveness’ (Eustace, 2000).
KeywordsBurner Europe Income Expense Arena
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