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Intellectual Capital and Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 October 2019) | Viewed by 44124

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Instituto Universitario de Ciencias y Tecnologías Cibernéticas (IUCTC), University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 30, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
Interests: business intelligence; intellectual capital; sustainability management
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Institute for Technological Development and Innovation in Communications (IDeTIC), Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 35017 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain
Interests: patter recognition; signal processing; classification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Economics and Business Management Department, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 30, 35001 Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Las Palmas, Spain
Interests: international business; sustainability management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The importance of intellectual capital as a strategic resource has been known since ancient times, when civilizations such as the Greek or Egyptian showed the first evidence of knowledge coding on their libraries. However, it was not until the last decade of the previous century that a more widely accepted definition was achieved on academic literature on the concept of intellectual capital. Henceforth, firms’ interest in such topics has exhibited a rapid growth, which is more notable in firms whose benefits originate primarily from innovation and knowledge-intensive services. Nevertheless, this is not only a topic applicable to firms. Intellectual capital management is also pertinent for governmental and no lucrative organizations. Its study of the territories should not be ignored because, although few have so far studied their wealth on intellectual capital terms, there is no debate over the importance of intellectual capital on territory development.

The academic community has not been incognizant of this interest of firms and territories. Proof of this is the fact that while a search for the topic “Intellectual Capital” on the Web of Science brings up less than 50 articles per year over the first five years of the present century, one decade later, this search obtains over 200 articles yearly.

On the other hand, and as a consequence of the importance of this topic, academic works found on the Web of Science treating different aspects of sustainability have significantly grown over the last few years. Thus, we have progressed from almost 1100 articles in 2000 to about 19,000 in 2018. Still, when in such a search, the topics of intellectual capital and sustainability merge, the results are vastly inferior at just over 10 in 2015. Consequently, there is still an important deficit when it comes to papers studying the relationship between intellectual capital management and sustainability, both in firms and territories.

Therefore, with the objective of increasing the knowledge on this topic, the purpose of this Special Issue is to publish articles of empirical research and theoretical high-quality reviews that study the relation between intellectual capital and sustainability. Papers may address this issue under an organization and territory point of view, always linked to aspects relative to sustainability, observed under any of its dimensions, be they environmental, social or economic.

Dr. Agustín J. Sánchez-Medina
Dr. Jesús B. Alonso
Dr. Jesús Arteaga-Ortiz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Intellectual capital and sustainability
  • Human capital and sustainability
  • Relational capital and sustainability
  • Structural capital and sustainability
  • Capital renewal and development, and sustainability
  • Decision support systems and sustainability
  • Technology innovation and sustainability
  • Smart management and sustainability
  • Predictive models and sustainability
  • Innovation and sustainability
  • Monitoring of sustainability

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 1600 KiB  
Article
Should Listed Banks Be Concerned with Intellectual Capital in Emerging Asian Markets? A Comparison between China and Pakistan
by Jian Xu, Muhammad Haris and Hongxing Yao
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6582; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236582 - 21 Nov 2019
Cited by 25 | Viewed by 3911
Abstract
The purpose of this study is to determine and compare the relationship between intellectual capital (IC) and banks’ performance in China and Pakistan. The data are acquired from listed banks in these two countries during 2010–2018. The Value Added Intellectual Coefficient (VAIC [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is to determine and compare the relationship between intellectual capital (IC) and banks’ performance in China and Pakistan. The data are acquired from listed banks in these two countries during 2010–2018. The Value Added Intellectual Coefficient (VAIC) method is applied as a measure of IC. The results show that capital employed efficiency (CEE) makes the highest contribution to bank performance in both countries. In addition, the profitability of listed Chinese banks is driven by structural capital efficiency (SCE), while human capital efficiency (HCE) positively affects bank profitability and productivity in Pakistan. In addition, we find that the lagged effect of IC has a positive impact on future bank profitability. This study supports greater investment in IC in order to further improve bank performance in emerging Asian markets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
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15 pages, 931 KiB  
Article
Is Sustainable Economic Development Possible Thanks to the Deployment of ICT?
by Antonio Fernández-Portillo, Manuel Almodóvar-González, José Luís Coca-Pérez and Héctor Valentín Jiménez-Naranjo
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6307; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11226307 - 10 Nov 2019
Cited by 33 | Viewed by 8074
Abstract
Achieving sustainable economic development is one of humanity’s greatest challenges, and, in this regard, the United Nations has promoted a line of research based on sustainable economic development. In view of this, our study focused on the sustainable economic development of nations, specifically, [...] Read more.
Achieving sustainable economic development is one of humanity’s greatest challenges, and, in this regard, the United Nations has promoted a line of research based on sustainable economic development. In view of this, our study focused on the sustainable economic development of nations, specifically, development through the deployment of information and communication technologies (ICTs). Academic researchers recognize the importance of ICT for economic and sustainable development, but there is controversy in the literature regarding two opposing points of view. First, there is a view that advances in ICT support Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, while, on the other hand, the view is that there is no relationship between these two factors. In view of this, we conducted a study where the objective was to determine whether investing in ICT contributes to sustainable economic development (measured by the GDP per capita) of European Union countries. We used Eurostat data and applied the partial least-squares (PLS) method to address the study. This approach allowed us to analyze European Union countries from 2014 to 2017, using fairly rigorous data. The most outstanding result was that ICT accounted for most of the explained variance in GDP per capita (GDPpp), and, specifically, the most representative indicator was “digital public services.” Therefore, we concluded that investing in the deployment of ICT supports the sustainable economic development of European Union countries. These countries should focus on investing in improved connectivity in areas with poor communications, as well as in training area inhabitants in the use and development of ICT to obtain greater development using these tools and technologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
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16 pages, 1074 KiB  
Article
An Intellectual Capital Approach to Citizens’ Quality of Life in Sustainable Cities: A Focus on Europe
by Víctor-Raúl López-Ruiz, José-Luis Alfaro-Navarro and Domingo Nevado-Peña
Sustainability 2019, 11(21), 6025; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11216025 - 30 Oct 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4079
Abstract
The quality of life of citizens in a city is related to the sustainable decisions made by their leaders. By using principal component analysis (PCA) and taking an intellectual capital perspective (all sources of knowledge in human, relational and structural areas), we explore [...] Read more.
The quality of life of citizens in a city is related to the sustainable decisions made by their leaders. By using principal component analysis (PCA) and taking an intellectual capital perspective (all sources of knowledge in human, relational and structural areas), we explore which of the three dimensions used to measure the sustainability of a city—economic, social or environmental—has the greatest effect on a subjective measurement of quality of life. We propose an econometric model based on a tangible production model to study the relationship between the quality of life and sustainability. To that end, we perform an in-depth examination of the different effects on the four dimensions that comprise the measure of the subjective quality of life: satisfaction, mobility, integration and public service. The results of the estimated model of citizens’ quality of life confirm the existence of a direct relationship for the 52 European cities under study; however, the least relevant role is played by the environmental dimension, which is still unappreciated by citizens. Conversely, the economic and social dimension are found to be determinants in all cases, except for social integration. Therefore, a key requirement of the management aimed at achieving sustainable development in European cities is to activate the environmental dimension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
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29 pages, 1429 KiB  
Article
Corporate Social Responsibility and Intellectual Capital: Sources of Competitiveness and Legitimacy in Organizations’ Management Practices
by Dolores Gallardo-Vázquez, Luis Enrique Valdez-Juárez and José Luis Lizcano-Álvarez
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5843; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205843 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 6642
Abstract
Two important managerial strategies have shaped organizations’ initiatives in recent years: corporate social responsibility (CSR) and intellectual capital (IC). Organizations’ implementation of voluntary CSR practices implies a commitment that goes beyond mere actions and it constitutes a step toward securing benefits for these [...] Read more.
Two important managerial strategies have shaped organizations’ initiatives in recent years: corporate social responsibility (CSR) and intellectual capital (IC). Organizations’ implementation of voluntary CSR practices implies a commitment that goes beyond mere actions and it constitutes a step toward securing benefits for these entities. In contrast, IC refers to a set of intangible organizational assets (i.e., human, structural, and relational capital) that are capable of providing greater value than tangible assets do. Putting both strategies into practice independently of each other is a source of competitive advantages for organizations, including more legitimacy in their sector. However, the present study sought to explore the possibility of strengthening the link between CSR and IC by integrating socially responsible practices into the configuration of each IC dimension. Thus, this research’s objective was to determine whether CSR initiatives can generate improvements in key IC components in organizations. The study included extremely diverse Spanish organizations ranging from small and medium-sized enterprises to large firms, private and public companies, and organizations serving multiple purposes, such as universities—all of which were implementing CSR initiatives. The partial least squares technique was applied to estimate a structural equation model to achieve the objective. The findings include that CSR improves organizations’ IC and that the resulting competitiveness is a source of legitimacy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
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21 pages, 597 KiB  
Article
Drivers for Pursuing Sustainability through IoT Technology within High-End Hotels—An Exploratory Study
by Pernille Eskerod, Svend Hollensen, Manuel Francisco Morales-Contreras and Jesús Arteaga-Ortiz
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5372; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195372 - 28 Sep 2019
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 6661
Abstract
A growing hotel sector makes a significant environmental footprint. Due to a contemporary focus on climate change and high competition within tourism, enhancing sustainability through energy savings is a priority for many hotels. Through technological innovations, Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology provides the opportunity to [...] Read more.
A growing hotel sector makes a significant environmental footprint. Due to a contemporary focus on climate change and high competition within tourism, enhancing sustainability through energy savings is a priority for many hotels. Through technological innovations, Internet-of-Things (IoT) technology provides the opportunity to integrate more systems (e.g., heating, air-conditioning, window-openings) on a platform (also known as smart management), making it easy for a hotel guest to operate room conditions through a single device while also optimizing hotel operations. A research gap on the likelihood of adopting IoT technology to pursue sustainability in the hotel sector exists. Based on explorative case studies of five high-end hotels, this paper offers propositions on drivers for hotels’ use of IoT to deliver on their sustainability goals. This study suggests that a hotel is more inclined to implement IoT if (1) the hotel is focused on energy savings, e.g., due to green certificates; (2) it belongs to an international hotel group; (3) decision makers perceive sustainability to be important for their customers; (4) the target group is more B2B (business) than B2C (leisure); (5) the hotel a five star one; and (6) the hotel guests come from Northern Europe or North America. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
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16 pages, 792 KiB  
Article
Intellectual Capital, Technological Innovation and Firm Performance: Evidence from China’s Manufacturing Sector
by Jian Xu, Yue Shang, Weizhen Yu and Feng Liu
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5328; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195328 - 26 Sep 2019
Cited by 76 | Viewed by 8266
Abstract
Intellectual capital (IC) is considered to be a main driver of organizational success in the knowledge economy. This study examines the impacts of three IC components, including human capital (HC), structural capital (SC), and relational capital (RC), on technological innovation and firm performance. [...] Read more.
Intellectual capital (IC) is considered to be a main driver of organizational success in the knowledge economy. This study examines the impacts of three IC components, including human capital (HC), structural capital (SC), and relational capital (RC), on technological innovation and firm performance. Data are collected from 1112 manufacturing listed companies in China during 2013–17. Using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM), the results show that HC and SC exert a positive impact on firm performance while RC has a negative impact; SC has a positive influence on technological innovation while HC has a negative influence; technological innovation can enhance the firm’s performance. In addition, technological innovation partially mediates the relationship between SC and firm performance. This study will bridge the gap in research by investigating the impacts of IC components on technological innovation and firm performance in developing countries. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
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16 pages, 532 KiB  
Article
Leadership and Organizational Culture in the Sustainability of Subsistence Small Businesses: An Intellectual Capital Based View
by Carlos M. Jardon and Xavier Martínez-Cobas
Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3491; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11123491 - 25 Jun 2019
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 5588
Abstract
The concept of leadership is complex and has been studied from multiple approaches, especially from the psychological field and from the field of management. Small businesses created as way of subsistence for the entrepreneur and their family present a limited leadership. The cultural [...] Read more.
The concept of leadership is complex and has been studied from multiple approaches, especially from the psychological field and from the field of management. Small businesses created as way of subsistence for the entrepreneur and their family present a limited leadership. The cultural traditions of the forestry industry are based on the culture and indigenous know-how of the territory, especially affecting small timber businesses, the small businesses working in timber activities. This paper analyzed the interrelation between culture and leadership in the process of generating performance from sustainable competitive advantages using partial least squares (PLS) techniques. The results show that culture and leaderships are sources of competitive advantage in subsistence small businesses, but culture does not generate competitiveness directly; an organizational culture needs to act through entrepreneurial leadership. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Intellectual Capital and Sustainability)
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