What the World Needs Now: A Bold Plan for New Standards

Standards Engineering, 64(3), 1 & 3-5, May/June 2012

5 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2012 Last revised: 21 Jun 2012

See all articles by William P. Fisher

William P. Fisher

University of California, Berkeley - BEAR Center

Date Written: June 14, 2012


Of the four major forms of capital (human, social, natural, and manufactured/property), three lack systems of standardized, uniform measuring units. Though "you manage what you measure" is a common mantra, myriad incommensurable surveys, tests, and ratings do not provide the quality of measurement needed for effective management. The implication is that over 90% of the capital in the global economy is unmeasured and so is also much more poorly managed than it could be. The rigor and practicality of advanced methods for calibrating tests, surveys, and assessments, for equating them to common metrics, and for adaptively administering them in mass customized applications all point to the viability and feasibility of an Intangible Assets Metrology System. The propagation of standards and values is today a means through which psychologists, sociologists, educators, health care researchers, and environmental quality researchers might reckon they could link their work with technical and economic projects elsewhere in their society. Properly configured instrumental ensembles could let these workers embody values in their laboratory routines that matter in their culture. We can no longer afford the intellectualist condescension of the past that has distracted us from these mundane practices, the technicians who perform them, and the work that makes research results meaningful in the wider world. On the contrary, we are in great need of leaders capable of formulating bold plans for economic revitalization from these complex but big ideas.

Keywords: standards, intangible assets, measurement, metrology, human capital, social capital, natural capital

JEL Classification: B23, B41, D23, D62, D63, H54, I11, I21, I31, J24, K11, L14, M14, P11, Q20

Suggested Citation

Fisher, William P., What the World Needs Now: A Bold Plan for New Standards (June 14, 2012). Standards Engineering, 64(3), 1 & 3-5, May/June 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2083975

William P. Fisher (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - BEAR Center ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94704
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.LivingCapitalMetrics.com

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