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Asian and Western Intellectual Capital in Encounter; a Discussion Paper About our Different Views on Knowledge

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Asian and Western Intellectual Capital in Encounter; a Discussion Paper About our Different Views on Knowledge

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Samenvatting

Purpose
To analyze differences between Western and Eastern cultures in the way they conceptualize
knowledge and discuss the implications of these differences for a global intellectual capital
(IC) theory and practice.
Design/methodology/approach
A systematic metaphor analysis of the concept of knowledge and IC is used to identify
common Western conceptualizations of knowledge in IC literature. A review of philosophical
and religious literature was done to identify knowledge conceptualizations in the main
streams of Asian philosophy.
Findings
Fundamental differences were found in the way knowledge is conceptualized. In Western IC
literature common metaphors for knowledge include knowledge as a thing and knowledge as
capital. In Asian thought, knowledge is seen as unfolding truth based upon a unity of universe
and human self and of knowledge and action.
Research limitations/implications
The research was performed on a limited sample of literature. More research is needed to
identify how knowledge is conceptualized in the practice of doing business in Asia and to test
the effects of introducing IC theories to Asian businessmen and managers.
Practical implications
Western conceptualizations of knowledge, embedded in terms like intellectual capital and
knowledge management, can not be transferred to Asian business without considering the
local view on knowledge. Asian conceptualizations of knowledge should play an important
role in the further development of a knowledge-based theory and practice of the firm.
Originality/value
The paper is the first to explore differences in knowledge conceptualizations by analyzing the
underlying metaphors that are used in Western IC literature and Asian philosophy.

Toon meer
OrganisatieHogeschool Inholland
Opleiding
Instituut
LectoraatIntellectual Capital
Gepubliceerd inpaper presented at the McMaster World Congress 2007, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Datum2007-01-27
TypeConferentiebijdrage
TaalEngels

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