THE WEALTH OF KNOWLEDGE: Intellectual Capital and the Twenty-first Century Organization

Thomas A. Stewart, Author . Doubleday/Currency $27.50 (400p) ISBN 978-0-385-50071-5

A century ago, business corporations were identified by their physical assets: real estate, buildings and machinery. Over the course of the next hundred years, management and investor attention shifted toward businesses' intangible property: brand names, patents, business relationships and employee culture. Stewart, Fortune columnist and author of the bestselling Intellectual Capital, argues this trend will continue through the 21st century, even as business law, practice and attitudes often ignore the intangibles in favor of concrete—but less relevant—physical assets. While not groundbreaking, his latest book offers a broad survey of business from the intellectual capitalist's perspective, from the basic economics of knowledge and business organization theory and management to selling and accounting for knowledge. Stewart could have fit this subject into a serious business magazine article; in expanding it, he simply adds a relentlessly upbeat mix of grand metaphors and detailed examples. Each chapter is packed with provocative, insightful material. The book's weakness is its dearth of theory and impatience with alternative views, and the chapters manage to logically follow one another without ever cohering enough to become more than the sum of their parts. The author's considerable rhetorical gifts also hide the fact that entire sections of the book do not really relate to the main thesis. Agent, Kris Dahl. (On-sale: Dec. 26)

Reviewed on: 11/19/2001
Release date: 12/01/2001
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-385-50072-2
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-385-50490-4
Open Ebook - 257 pages - 978-0-307-42418-1
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