While the first large enthusiasm towards intangible resources drove to their complete identification as assets, therefore focusing on their positive role in value creation, some scholars later argued that also intangible liabilities were to be taken into consideration. Such an “assets versus liabilities approach” offers some new insights for the management of intangibles, but it continues on the old tradition, since it states that some intangible resources are assets whereas some other are liabilities within the same context. This paper offers a different perspective of analysis of intangible assets based on the canons of Socio-Economics and on the role those assets play in value generation, value protection, and value distribution and appropriation processes. The paper argues that some characteristic of intangible assets that contribute to protect a firm’s value, are also responsible for strategic rigidity. Again, it also reflects on the weak property rights regime on intangible assets, arguing that if it makes difficult for the firm a full management of those assets makes nevertheless possible the coproduction of intangible assets.
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