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Comparative study of intangible endowment in Europe and Russia

Priority areas of development: economics
The project has been carried out as part of the HSE Program of Fundamental Studies.

Goal of research: The goal of this study is to empirically test comparative traits of companies under conditions of new economy with an emphasis on developed and emerging markets. The following objectives are underlined in the four lines:

The role of intangibles in SMEs in Europe and Russia

  • An extension of empirical base, that describes specific feature of investment strategies in SMEs.
  • Empirical analysis of transformation of intangible inputs in dynamic capabilities and, as a result, in competitiveness.
  • Recommendation on investment strategies for SMEs.

The diversity of intangible-intensive strategies for intangibles on developed and emerging markets

  • Identification of a shape and dynamics of intangible portfolio in European and Russian companies.
  • Empirical analysis of the decision of companies to switch to innovative strategy.
  • Examination of different innovative strategies.

The traits of corporate governance on developed and emerging markets

  • Identification of an equity structure on developed and emerging markets.
  • The impact of exogenous factors on efficiency of corporate governance on developed and emerging markets.

The role of intangibles for economic agents in sport industry

  • Comparative analysis of the football leagues in Russia, Europe and Latin America.
  • Assessment of brands of sport clubs through the attendance of matches and individual expenditures of spectators during a sporting event.
  • Empirical testing of sponsorship of sport teams and sporting events.

Methodology: The theoretical elaboration and empirical testing of structural behavior of intangible-intensive companies. Within the comparative studies of Russian and European companies a «difference-in-difference» tool has been applied to estimate the moderation effect of market conditions on company activities. In this regard, the panel structure of the databases by using fixed-effect along with lagged variables have been studied. In addition, the tools of simultaneous linear equations and latent variables (SEM, SEM-PLS) as well as hierarchical modeling have been implemented.

Empirical base of research: For the purpose of this research two databases of European and Russian companies were designed and collected. The database on European companies contains information on more than 1600 companies located in the five largest European countries: the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy. This sample covers the period from 2004 to 2014 and is a representative of the EU economy, since the economy of the top five countries covers 70% of EU GDP. This sample of companies maintains the sectoral structure of the economy, which makes it also representative according to the industry criterion. According to NACE classification in the sample the following sectors are represented: "Management of Companies and Enterprises" (25%), Manufacturing (20%), "Professional, Scientific and Technical Services" (12%), "Finance and Insurance" (10% ) and "other industries" (33%). 36% of these companies are SMEs, and 64% - large enterprises. The second database contains information about Russian public companies and has observations on more than 1000 companies. A key specific feature of this database is that only 15% of the companies are traded on the stock market, despite the fact that all of them went public and disclose most of the information of their activities for investors. Both databases are presented in a single structure, have a uniform technique for collecting and analyzing information, and can be used for comparative studies.

Results of research:

Theoretical contribution:

  • the development of a model that explains the strategic behavior of companies transitioning to a more intangible-intensive strategy;
  • the development of a model that introduces agency conflict in the intangible-intensive companies;
  • the identification and interpretation of strategic profiles with respect to intangibles in Russian companies.

Methodological contribution:

  • the development of new proxy indicators that describe intangibles;
  • the testing of latent characteristics of intangibles;
  • the development of a system of factors that indicate of behavioral traits of companies' top-management.

Empirical contribution:

  • the empirical estimation of parameters in structural models that introduces strategic behavior of companies with regard to intangibles;
  • the identification of the gap in the quality of intangible portfolio in Russian companies benchmarked to their European rivals;
  • the evaluation of the impact of the gap in the intangible portfolio on competitive advantages and global competitiveness;
  • the ranking of innovative and conservative companies in the various investment strategies in intangibles;
  • the testing of hypotheses on a special role of human and relational resources in corporations;
  • the evaluation of the role of sponsorship of sport teams and events for companies and their investment attractiveness;
  • the evaluation of the role of the football team brands.


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