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Regular version of the site

Article

Strategic behaviour of Russian companies with regard to intangibles

Management Decision. 2018. Vol. 56. No. 11. P. 2373-2390.

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore strategy-specific competencies with regard to intangibles and provides empirical evidence of intangible-based strategy groups for Russian companies. Additionally, the study examines the link between intangible-based strategy and company performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses strategic group theory and the resource-based view framework to identify similar strategic behaviour of companies by employment of intangibles. In line with the intellectual capital concept, the study provides a cluster analysis that considers four types of intangibles: human, relational, innovation and process capital. These are measured through publicly available data using principal component analysis. The empirical part of the study uses a database of 1,096 Russian public companies, which covers the period 2004–2014.

Findings

As a result, the study reveals three profiles of strategic behaviour with regard to intangibles. The majority of Russian public companies (63.5 per cent) are Generics and pursue a non-intensive intangible strategy. Only 13.3 per cent of companies constitute the intangible-intensive profile by having endowment of all intellectual resources higher than the sample average. The remaining companies (23.2 per cent) also pursue an intangible-intensive strategy with a focus on innovation capital. Intangible-intensive strategic groups outperform Generics.

Originality/value

The study proposes a novel intangible-based strategy continuum, which straddles two polar strategies: generic and smart. The study introduces insights to better understand the differences in performance across intangible-intensive strategies and presents a new empirical inquiry into strategic behaviour with regard to intangibles in Russia.