Measuring Science & Technology in Panama: Towards a National Intellectual Capital Framework

Measuring Science & Technology in Panama: Towards a National Intellectual Capital Framework

Yuan-Chieh Chang (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, R.O.C.) and Carlos Kan (National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan, R.O.C.)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-875-3.ch003


This chapter examines the notion of national intellectual capital, which could bring new insights to the existing national science and technology policy thinking. This notion leads that the chapter proposes a framework to measure national intellectual capital, and the investigation based on the framework was applied in Panama. The results revealed that the Panamanian intellectual capital faces the decreasing supply of human capital in S&T field, the service-dominant market capital, weaker and less indigenous innovation capital, and a steady increase of process capital. Some intellectual capital policy implications are drawn for Panama and other developing countries.
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As economies continue to become more knowledge intensive, intellectual capital has become the competitive edge for people, corporations, regions, and nations. Higher levels of intellectual capital have been associated with higher standards of living, improved health, and continued increases in national competitiveness. As a result, nations and firms have to effectively manage their intellectual capital in order to outperform other nations and firms (Bornemann et al., 1999; Johanson et al., 1999). However, a systemic framework to measure and to report national intellectual capital is understudied. This highlights a need to effectively measure intellectual capital at the macro level.

Previous research on the intellectual capital community has illuminated the intellectual capital perspective as a useful framework to explain abnormal growth and development in cities, regions and nations (Bontis, 2004; Bounfour and Edvissson, 2005). The interest of intellectual capital in weighting the intangible content at macro spaces is growing. In addition, it is notable that not only the products have become more knowledge intensive, but so have services and business processes (Andriessen, 2004). The chapter seeks to develop a preliminary framework for measuring and reporting national intellectual capital, especially for developing countries such as Panama. It provides an insightful framework to plan and develop intellectual capital in nations.

The chapter proceeds as follows. The chapter reviews the definition, theoretical foundations, types of intellectual capital and its relation to knowledge, innovation and strategy. Further, existing indexes for measuring national intellectual capital are examined and a research framework is proposed. The chapter measures the national human capital, national innovation capital, national market capital and national process capital in Panama. The results are discussed. We reach its conclusions. Some policy implications are made to Panama and other developing countries.

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