In today's ultra-competitive global economy, intangibles are increasingly taking centre stage in firms' business strategies and investors' valuations. Physical and financial assets are becoming commodities, yielding at best a competitive return on investment. In their place, intangible assets such as patents, brands, unique business processes, breakthrough scientific discoveries and strategic alliances are what firms are using to create dominant market positions, control risk, generate abnormal profits, and achieve growth and wealth. The dramatic rise and fall of high-technology company valuations has brought the unusual economic characteristics of intangible assets into the public arena. The concurrent advantages and vulnerabilities of intangible-intensive companies has highlighted the importance of having an in-depth understanding of the economics of intangibles and developing tools to better manage and evaluate them. This reader provides that understanding by bringing together the best research and advocacy on intangibles.
John R. M. Hand is Professor and Chairman of the Accounting Faculty at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at UNC Chapel Hill. His research centres on the business economics, financial statement analysis, and equity valuation of companies, particularly those in the high-technology sector. He has published in numerous accounting and finance journals, and is a two-time winner of the American Accounting Association's competitive manuscript competition.
Baruch Lev is the Philip Bardes Professor of Accounting and Finance with the Stern School of Business at New York University; Director of the Vincent C. Ross Center for Research; and a consultant to numerous corporations and investors. He is the award-winning author of several books and various research studies published in leading accounting, finance, and economic journals.