Understanding the intangible value of a businesses is key to its prosperity

Professor Diane Coyle is the lead for the knowledge capital research theme. She is Professor of Public Policy at the Bennett Institute for Public Policy at the University of Cambridge. 

How can we understand and measure a business’s knowledge capital?

Your business’s or employer’s knowledge capital is the intangible value in their organisation made up of its data, relationships, learned techniques, procedures, and innovations. Bennett Professor of Public Policy at the University of Cambridge, Diane Coyle leads the Knowledge Capital theme at The Productivity Institute – a UKRI funded research organisation working directly with policymakers and businesses to better understand, measure, and enable improvements in UK productivity. She delves into knowledge capital and what is so unique about the institute in her opening video.

Why is it important that the UK invests in productivity now?

Diane says productivity is more important than ever because the pandemic means that we need a recovery to ensure people can see their standard of living improving. But emerging from the downturn is also an opportunity to think about how to organise things differently.

Innovating in new technology, or producing new services and products such as medicines or materials could make people’s lives better over the long run. The Productivity Institute will undertake research on how productivity growth can deliver higher living standards for people across the whole of the country. It will involve collaboration between researchers, national, devolved and local government, businesses, unions, and charities in every region. The Institute will establish regional forums to host these collaborative endeavours.

Although the pandemic has adversely affected many people’s job opportunities or business prospects, Diane sees such joint working as a way to bring about a more productive and prosperous economy.

How will knowledge capital improve productivity?

Having employees with skills and access to knowledge, and understanding the importance of intangible value, will be essential for businesses to prosper.

The Productivity Institute will research how companies from SMEs to large enterprises can succeed; understanding and measurement of knowledge capital could hold the key to this.

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