Ownership of Intangible Assets and their Usefulness Across Countries with Different Levels of Institutional Development

by Murod Aliyev


Although strategy research established strong links between intangible assets and firm performance, studies usually focus on intangible assets possessed by the focal firm (FIAs). Unlike previous studies, this paper focuses on the intangible assets possessed by the (multiple) organization(s) that own the focal firm (OIAs). We investigate the differences in the effectiveness of FIAs and OIAs in enhancing firm performance. We also examine how variations in institutional development across 23 countries influence 1) the usefulness of FIAs and OIAs 2) complementarities between these assets and 3) the advantages of being owned by multiple organizations (vis-à-vis a single owner). We show that institutional development affects differently the competitive advantages that FIAs and OIAs offer to the focal firm. Furthermore, the intangible assets of multiple owners provide advantages over those of single owners in enhancing firm performance, and these advantages are stronger in institutionally more developed countries.