Abstract: The determining factor for the successful functioning and development of enterprises in modern conditions is the presence of intellectual potential. However, to date, there is no generally accepted definition of this concept among economic scientists. At the same time, the number of scientific papers using various terminology to define the concept of the intellectual potential of the enterprise is constantly growing. This fact confirms the relevance of the research topic. Complex analysis, generalization and systematization, structuring of the components of the concept were used as methods for conducting research. As a result of the study, the definition of the concept of intellectual potential of the enterprise was clarified and its structural components were justified in relation to the production activities of enterprises. A fundamental innovation can be considered a proposal to include such components as information and dynamic potential in the structure of the intellectual potential of the enterprise.
Keywords: intellectual potential, analysis of the structure, informational and dynamic potential.
The generation of new knowledge, the use of information technologies, the introduction of innovations and products of the digital economy in all industries and spheres of life of the world community has become the global trend of the current stage of development of the world economy. Therefore, it is no accident that the effective use of the intellectual potential of enterprises and companies is recognized by most scientists as the determining factor for the successful development of the economies of advanced countries. Many economists associate the concept of «intellectual potential» with the concept of «intellectual activity». At the same time, depending on the definition of the concept of «intellectual activity», two large groups of scientists can be distinguished. The first group relates this concept to intellectual potential, and the second-to intellectual capital. To date, there is no clear definition of the concepts of «intellectual potential» and «intellectual capital» in the scientific economic literature. For this reason, it seems relevant to conduct a brief analysis of the definitions of this concept, to clarify its economic essence and to justify its key structural components.
The main purpose of this research is to justify the inclusion of new components in the structure of the intellectual potential of enterprises, based on the modern features of the organization of the activities of industrial enterprises. To achieve it, the concept of the intellectual potential of the enterprise will be clarified, its economic essence will be revealed, and the need to include new structural components in its composition will be justified.
Both foreign and Russian scientists pay a lot of attention to the problem of the intellectual potential of an enterprise, its structuring and substantiation of evaluation methods.
- Lev, one of the founders of the theory of intellectual potential, defines this category as an insubstantial (intangible) source of value (future benefits), which is generated by innovations, unique organizational solutions or the practice of human resource management» . For the current stage of research, the emergence of specific methods and mechanisms for managing intellectual potential and its components, primarily human capital, can be considered as characteristic features [2, pp. 855-869; 3, pp. 43-74; 4, pp. 68-82].
A fundamentally new approach to the definition of the term of the intellectual potential of the company was proposed within the framework of the development of the resource concept of economic theory. Initially, the intellectual potential was defined as a static intangible resource that a company possesses. But combining the provisions of the resource concept with the concept of dynamic capabilities [5, p. 133-171] helped to reveal a new mechanism for obtaining competitive advantages, based not only on the intangible resources available to the company, but also on its ability to derive economic benefits from them. So there was a new approach to determining the intellectual potential of the company. According to this approach, the focus was not only on knowledge as an asset of the company (human capital), but also on its placement, and most importantly, its effective use. Hence, it becomes clear the special importance of having such a structural component of the intellectual potential of the enterprise as the dynamic ability to increase over time such components as human capital, production management technologies and interaction with contractors, information recognition and processing, with their subsequent use as new competitive advantages for the development of the enterprise. The authors of the dynamic approach understand the intellectual potential of a company as its ability to extract future economic benefits from the available intangible resources (human capital). This definition of the category of intellectual potential of a company (enterprise) is one of the most common [6, pp. 82-105].
In the structure of intellectual potential, it is customary to distinguish three main components: human capital, social (relational) capital, and organizational (structural) capital (the latter two components are nothing more than production management technologies and relationships with contractors of the enterprise). This approach has been recognized by the International Federation of Accountants  and supported by most researchers in this field [8, pp. 433-463; 9, pp. 18-30; 10].
Our review presents the definitions of the intellectual potential and intellectual capital of the enterprise, which are identical and affect each other. The emergence of these terms became possible due to changes in the practice of using capital itself in the production process. At the beginning of the XXI century, the main purpose of enterprise personnel is no longer limited to its search and use in the production process. More efficient use of personnel now involves certain investments for the development of professional competencies obtained during training and the accumulation of knowledge for the development of modern production technologies. Naturally, there was a need to take into account and measure the effectiveness of these costs, which led to the first emergence of the concepts of human potential and capital, and then intellectual potential and capital [11, p. 127].
Any modern production requires the availability of information and knowledge in various forms and volumes necessary and sufficient for its functioning. It is information and knowledge, together with the managerial and professional competencies of the personnel, that are the basis of the intellectual potential of the enterprise, which is transformed into different types of its capital during the production process. In other words, information and knowledge, which are initially immaterial forms of intellectual potential, acquire their economic essence as important structural components in the process of production, and eventually become different types of materialized capital, since:
– it is the property of the enterprise or of several experts among its personnel;
– its formation requires certain investment costs, reducing incomes of the enterprise and of its several experts;
– it is able to accumulate and can be considered as a certain stock;
– the character of costs of the intellectual potential formation is such, that it should be considered as real investments, as it can generate different production effects (cost, material, managerial etc.);
– its use in the production process contributes to the future higher income due to the transformation of the existing and newly formed intellectual potential to different kinds of the capital.
Basing on the results of the analysis, it can be argued that in the economic literature there are a number of approaches to the essential definition of the category of intellectual potential of the enterprise. Concerning modern conditions, the intellectual potential is a key intangible resource and a factor that contributes to the effective development of the enterprise and to the use of its available resources.
Маterials and methods.
As research methods, we used a comprehensive analysis of the intellectual potential concept in the works of foreign and domestic scientists, generalization and systematization of used approaches, justification of the structural components, taking into account the practical features of the production activities of enterprises. As materials for the study, a number of provisions from the works of foreign and domestic scientists are used, which present the definitions of the intellectual potential concept, its structural composition and key characteristics.
The production activity of modern enterprises is based on a set of fixed assets. The owners of enterprises are directly interested in the availability of specialists capable to produce finished products. Qualified specialists of the enterprise have the necessary information and knowledge for the formation and implementation of its intellectual potential, improving the performance of production activities. At the same time, the intellectual potential does not have a material form, and may partially belong not only to the owner of the enterprise, but also to its individual specialists.
According to the results of the analysis of the literature review, three main structural components of the intellectual potential of the enterprise are identified, namely: human capital, social (relational) capital and organizational (structural) capital.
Results and discussion.
The rapid development of the knowledge economics and of information technologies in the form of various products of the digital economy urgently require the inclusion of new components in the structure of the intellectual potential of the enterprise, namely, information and dynamic potential. At the same time, the new structural components are directly related to the managerial and professional competencies of the company’s personnel, which are used to create its intellectual potential.
The effective functioning of enterprises in the digital economics is increasingly determined by the level of use of their information potential. It is obvious that for each enterprise, the information potential will represent a set of information resources inherent only to this enterprise, including databases, information support systems and information technologies. This part of information resources is considered internal in relation to the information potential of the enterprise. However, we should not forget that any enterprise operates in conditions of multidirectional impact of market, financial, marketing and other information. This part of the information resources will be considered external to the information potential of the enterprise. It is quite natural that in terms of its volume, functional diversity and other characteristics, external information resources significantly exceed internal ones. Therefore, the company’s management and the other management personnel must have the appropriate knowledge and skills, as well as have modern information technologies to access and timely obtain the necessary information in a huge array of external information resources.
Thus, the efficiency of using of the entire set of internal and external information resources of the enterprise, as well as the effective knowledge of information technologies for its processing, becomes an important source of production development and economic growth of the enterprise. As a result of the use of information, the intellectual potential of the enterprise undergoes innovative changes.
According to its functional capabilities, the information potential of the enterprise is used not only for production management, but also for interaction with contractors, monitoring the sales markets of finished products, advertising activities, and promoting products to new markets. This is not a complete list of the functional capabilities of the information potential of the enterprise, but even the above functions indicate that in modern conditions, the information potential should be considered as the most important structural component of the intellectual potential. The availability and quality of the information potential of the enterprise largely determine the stability of its position in the market and the prospects for development.
The intellectual potential of an enterprise as of a system has certain properties, which in the conditions of constant production activity include: instability of the state; uncertainty in time; dynamism of development. It can be noted that the key property is the dynamism of development, which in its essence includes both the instability of the state and the uncertainty in time. Therefore, the main goal of the intellectual potential management will be to maintain a given dynamics of its development and ensure its relative stabilization and certainty over time.
The stabilization of the intellectual potential involves approximately the following sequence of actions: determining the possibility and directions of its use; formation of the reserve of potential in areas; additional investments for the effective use of potential. At the same time, stability will determine the state of the potential at which it is possible to identify it and use it in the production process. Stability will be a relative concept for different participants in production activities, but since intellectual potential is one of the key factors in this activity, all its participants are interested in its stabilization.
The uncertainty of the intellectual potential over time is manifested primarily in resource uncertainty, which is associated with the quality, quantity, timing of receipt and the possibility of using various types of production resources. In addition to the resource uncertainty of the intellectual potential of the enterprise, there is an uncertainty of organizational factors in its management. Since the main goal of managing the activities of an enterprise as a system is to achieve its certainty at any time through changes in management decisions, the manageability of the enterprise will be determined by the choice of such a variant of management decisions that would allow it to ensure its development in a given direction.
The effectiveness of the innovative activity of the enterprise is determined by various factors of scientific and technological progress, industry characteristics, as well as by the level of competition in the sales markets. The property of the dynamism of the enterprise as a system and its intellectual potential are manifested through the possibility of their controlled development. Acertain dynamism in the development of an enterprise can be achieved through the management of its intellectual potential, including its structural components. The dynamic capabilities of a modern enterprise allow it to gain and retain additional competitive advantages by generating and transforming internal and external competencies over time in order to quickly respond to changes in the external and internal environment [12, p. 689].
In relation to the activity of an enterprise as a system, the concept of dynamic capabilities can be specified up to the inclusion of its components in the enterprise management procedures as separate elements of its information system. For this purpose, a model of dynamic abilities was developed [13, pp. 57-68], which is an application for solving practical problems of the enterprise management. The model allows you to manage the production activities of the enterprise, the formation of new competencies, the generation of new knowledge, and the coordination of the structural components of the intellectual potential of the enterprise.
The successful operation of a modern enterprise is ensured by organizing an effective interaction of its organizational abilities with available resources, while possessing significant dynamic abilities. In the absence of at least of one of these components, the innovative activity of the enterprise will not give positive results. Such results can be obtained only through a combination of dynamic abilities and resources that are used under their influence [14, p. 102-110].
Thus, the dynamic potential as a structural component of the intellectual potential of the enterprise can be represented through the totality of its dynamic abilities and the effective use of all types of resources. The inclusion of dynamic abilities in the structure of the enterprise management information system allows us to take into account both the factors of stability of its activities and the factors of changes in the external and internal environment for the formation of additional competitive advantages.
In modern conditions, the successful operation of an enterprise is largely determined by the effective use and building up of the entire set of structural components of its intellectual potential. This circumstance allows us to formulate a refined definition of the concept of the intellectual potential of an enterprise as a set of its main structural components (human, relational and organizational capital, information and dynamic potential), which can, with targeted management actions, ensure an increase in the efficiency of the enterprise’s production activities, taking into account changes in the factors of the external and internal environment of its functioning.
Results, obtained in the course of the performed research, allowed to formulate following opinions.
- The performed analysis of works of foreign and national economists showed that till the present time there is no expressly substantiated definition of such notion as “intellectual potential” of an enterprise.
- In the present context the intellectual potential is a key intangible resource and factor, contributing to the effective development of an enterprise.
- Was substantiated the need for the inclusion of two new components – the informational and the dynamic potential — in the structure of the intellectual potential of an enterprise.
The study was funded by the Russian Foundation of Basic Research, grant No. 19-29-07168mk.
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