The Effect of Intellectual Capital and Knowledge Management on Competitive Advantage, Considering the Mediating Role of Innovation

Document Type : Original Article


Assistant Professor, Department of Accounting, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


Purpose: Advanced organizations that have embraced the knowledge-based economy should enhance their skills in knowledge creation, aggregation, and maintenance to increase their capabilities and gain a competitive advantage. Knowledge management is the structured process of collecting, securing, and managing information and knowledge within an organization. It is essential for enhancing organizational understanding of knowledge management, value production, and intellectual capital, which are crucial for maintaining competitive advantage. Today, the most significant challenge for organizations is to develop the intellectual capital necessary to understand how organizational management promotes knowledge sharing among employees and how to ensure that this knowledge contributes to the organization's success. The present study aimed to investigate the influence of intellectual capital and knowledge management on competitive advantage at Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, with a focus on the mediating role of innovation.
Method: The research method is applied for the purpose of descriptive-correlational analysis, with a focus on the nature and method of data collection. The statistical population for this research includes all managers and staff of Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. Based on the available information, there are 400 individuals in this population, of whom 196 were selected using Cochran's formula through simple random sampling. The tool used to collect field information in this research
is a questionnaire comprising intellectual capital questions (Kianto et al., 2010; Bantis, 1998; Subramaniam & Yondt, 2005), knowledge management (Gold et al., 2001), competitive advantage (Wu and Chen, 2012), and innovation (Harley and Hallett, 1998). The research utilized structural equation modeling as the analysis method, based on SmartPLS3 software. In this study, the content validity method is used to provide greater assurance. For this purpose, the questionnaire was distributed to specialists and experts, including a respected teacher, who were asked to provide their opinions on each question and the evaluation of the associated goal. The questionnaire was approved with some minor amendments. Cronbach's alpha method was utilized to assess the reliability of the measurement tool.
Findings: The research findings indicated that intellectual capital has a positive and significant impact on innovation, with a path coefficient of 0.304 and a t-statistic value of 4.860. Furthermore, knowledge management has a substantial and positive impact on innovation, with a path coefficient of 0.516 and a t-statistic value of 8.009. The impact of innovation on competitive advantage was confirmed, with a path coefficient of 0.370 and a t-statistic value of 4.014. The impact of knowledge management on competitive advantage has been confirmed, with a path coefficient of 0.255 and a
t-statistic value of 3.602. Furthermore, it was discovered that innovation serves as a mediator in the relationship between intellectual capital, knowledge management, and competitive advantage.
Conclusion: In order for today's organizations to survive in the new competitive and knowledge-oriented environment, they must consider innovation as a necessary strategy to effectively respond to changes. Innovation is essential for navigating the turbulent external environment and managing complexity and change within the organization. Therefore, it is important to prioritize innovation. Organizations that prioritize intellectual capital tend to be more innovative than others. This is because in such organizations, the presence and utilization of intellectual capital lead to increased knowledge acquisition, which in turn facilitates the generation of solutions. Innovation will lead to new actions and advancements in general.


Main Subjects

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