Intellectual capital varieties in service-based companies in Botswana
International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)
Intellectual capital varieties in service-based companies in Botswana (Abstract)
Byron A. Brown, Afifa Patel and Veronica Ofaletse
Although service-based companies in developed nations have been valuing and utilising their intellectual capital to gain competitive advantages, many service-oriented companies in developing states in Africa such as Botswana have not done the same. But the situation is changing because service-oriented companies in Botswana are being encouraged by the government to contribute more to the economy – a decision triggered by changes in the external environment such as a decline in the country’s mineral resources and government-led efforts to diversify the economy. Many service-based companies in Botswana are not capitalising on their intellectual capital to gain competitive advantage and to diversify their business because they have a weak understanding of it. This study investigated the varieties of intellectual capital disclosed by five service-based companies operating in the Botswana context. Using an interpretive approach, with documents as data sources, we found all three varieties of intellectual capital disclosed: human, structural, and relational. The motives for disclosing these assets were linked to factors inside and others outside the companies. Even though intellectual capital was disclosed, reporting was sporadic and managers’ rhetoric on intellectual capital did not match what they practised. Various implications are discussed.