Intellectual Capitol

Thomas A. Stewart, Author, James Stewart, Author Broadway Business $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-48228-8
It is ironic that in a book about how to use knowledge, Stewart, former president and publisher of Atheneum, doesn't begin with his strongest material. Instead of stressing the three components of intellectual capital-human, organizational and customer-he devotes nearly the first third of the book to documenting the importance of knowledge in today's workplace. The problem is that stories about how 80% of the cost of producing a pair of Levi's blue jeans goes for information and how America now spends more on information technology than on production equipment read like old news-and should. Stewart has covered this ground in Fortune magazine, of which he is a member of the board of editors (citing himself nearly three dozen times in the notes). What's new in this engaging and well-written book is the discussion about how corporations can increase their workers' knowledge, capitalize on the implicit knowledge within the organization and exploit the value of their relationship with customers, what he calls ""customer capital."" And Stewart is a pro at explaining how managers can determine which workers have knowledge worth keeping and which can be easily replaced. Managers need that kind of information more than they do background. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
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