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Article

Intangible-intensive profiles of companies: protection during the economic crisis of 2008-2009

Journal of Intellectual Capital. 2016. Vol. 17. No. 4. P. 758-775.

Purpose: This study explores the strategies adopted by companies during the economic crisis of 2008-2009. It investigates whether it is reasonable for companies to intensify their investment in intangibles during recession periods. The purpose of this paper is to find empirical evidence that companies with clear intangible-intensive profiles are likely to outperform those without a clear strategy. Design/methodology/approach: This paper explores the intangible-intensive strategies of companies in terms of their dynamics during the pre-crisis, crisis and post-crisis periods. Through dummy regression applied to data from more than 1,600 European companies involved in the empirical analysis, the paper aims to show moderating effects from intangible-intensive strategies on company performance, expressed in terms of economic value added and market value added. Findings: The results established in this study shed some light on the global economic crisis in 2008-2009. The findings of this study demonstrate that companies with a conservative profile towards intangibles outperform both those without a defined profile and those with an innovative one. However, an innovative profile enables faster recovery after a crisis. Originality/value: This paper contributes to the literature on the strategic management of companies, and highlights the particular importance of intangible-intensiveness when markets experience systematic distresses. It is emphasized that lessons learned during the recent global economic crisis must be taken into account in the strategic vision of any company.