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date: 08 April 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The purpose of this article is to address and begin to explore interdependencies between human capital and structural capital. It provides a brief, if somewhat critical, recent history of the emergence of the intellectual capital (IC) concept and how a largely taxonomic approach, and forms of neopositivist research, became institutionalized. The broad outlines of four approaches to addressing the agency–structure debate in social theory – namely, reductionist, determinist, conflationist, and relationist/realist – are very briefly discussed to set the scene for providing a skeletal outline of a Kantian pragmatist approach, which is relationist/realist, in this article. This is the kernel of the future-oriented approach to IC research advocated here to overcome the limits of both extant taxonomies and neopositivist worldviews. The conclusion reached is that future research from a Kantian pragmatist perspective has the potential to substantively enhance the understanding in this complex field.

Keywords: human capital, structural capital, intellectual capital, Kantian pragmatist approach, IC research

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