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Sustainable wealth creation in practice: a framework to manage firm's intangibles

Wasiluk, Kendra Lyn (2012) Sustainable wealth creation in practice: a framework to manage firm's intangibles. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This study investigates how firms in the Australian property and construction sector manage their intangibles in order to operationalise sustainable development. Previous research linking intangibles and corporate sustainability has tended to focus on intangibles as a phenomenon endeavouring to establish links between intangibles and corporate financial performance. This thesis makes a unique contribution to knowledge by drawing a conceptual bridge between the intangibles and corporate sustainability literature using both the phenomenon and practice based approach to intangibles. The practice based approach aims to understand how firms manage and mobilise their intangibles towards a purpose � which for this research is sustainable development. A key outcome of this study is a framework to manage firms� intangibles which outlines how firms identify, measure/value, control, and report their intangibles at various stages of corporate sustainability. The research design is a case study methodology, implemented across two phases, using mixed methods. The first phase focused on the phenomenon of intangibles in the wider Australian property and construction sector. Data was collected using a questionnaire, semi-structured interviews and content analysis. In the second phase, four case studies of individual firms were conducted to study the practice of intangibles. There were two key findings of this research. The first is that the practice based approach to intangibles more accurately reflected how firms in the Australian property and construction sector manage their intangibles. However, tensions still exist between the more traditional accounting-based phenomenon approach to intangibles and the practice based approach. This is particularly relevant in the business case for sustainability. The second main finding is that firms in the case study sector are actively managing their intangibles to implement organisational change for sustainability. This finding led to the development of the �inside- out� approach to operationalising sustainable development which focuses on managing a firm�s intangibles rather than just its environmental and social performance.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Environment (Leeds) > School of Earth and Environment (Leeds) > Sustainability Research Institute (Leeds)
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 30 Nov 2012 12:36
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:24
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/3136

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