Theory and Method on Intellectual Capital Creation: Addressing Communicative Action Through Relative Methodics

Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 294-311, 2004

19 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2005

See all articles by David O'Donnell

David O'Donnell

Intellectual Capital Research Institute of Ireland

Abstract

Intellectual capital is a diverse and multidisciplinary field where there is much scope for interdisciplinary research. Such interdisciplinarity demands that we first transcend boundaries between IC researchers and disciplines and then transcend any subsequently perceived ontological and/or methodological barriers. Moving from the particular to the general, this paper draws on the contours of the Habermasian (1984) communicative relation to present some theoretical insights on how intellectual capital is created linguistically in social space. The ontological and methodological implications of this particular approach to research lead to the general argument for adopting a relative view (Arbnor and Bjerke, 1997) on both ontology and methodology in order to craft navigational routes into interdisciplinary social space in the IC field. Such an approach allows IC researchers to draw on extant, and seemingly incommensurable, methodologies and techniques from analytical positivism, systems theory and the hermeneutic tradition in a scientifically justifiable post-foundationalist manner.

Keywords: Communicative action, Habermas, intellectual capital creation, methodology, relative methodics

JEL Classification: A12, L20, M10, M50, O31, P12

Suggested Citation

O'Donnell, David, Theory and Method on Intellectual Capital Creation: Addressing Communicative Action Through Relative Methodics. Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 294-311, 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=818084

David O'Donnell (Contact Author)

Intellectual Capital Research Institute of Ireland ( email )

Clonee Road
Ballyagran
Limerick County
Ireland

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