The management of intangible assets, a renewal of management control : Case of the National Railway Office

Keywords: Intangible capital; Management control; Performance management, Public organization, Balanced scorecard


In a context characterized by high uncertainty, complexity and the need to produce quality while meeting ever-increasing demands, the intelligence and talent of all members of an organization must be mobilized in synergy. Hence, we are witnessing the transition from a material society and economy to a society and economy based mainly on intangible capital, which is now the main engine of growth for any economy.

In this respect, public organizations, as well as private companies, have switched to this new model of competitiveness. A model that mainly tries to apprehend this invisible capital that requires a harmonious management and piloting. Certainly, several difficulties are present in terms of identification, measurement, piloting, protection or transmission of this type of capital. All of these elements are of concern to the community of researchers in economics and management. To this end, we have focused on the management of intangible capital, which requires the intervention of a management control system, not a traditional one, but rather an innovative system capable of accommodating both the financial elements and the intangible aspect.

Through an exploratory study of the case of the Moroccan National Railways Office, we will try to understand how the management of the intangible dimension of performance in this public organization renews management control. We will explain the conditions of the emergence of this innovative steering approach as well as its implications on performance management.

To do this, we have opted for an exploratory case study of the Office National des Chemins de Fer by combining several methodological techniques: semi-directive interviews, direct observation and internal documentary analysis. Thus, for the analysis of the different information obtained, we chose the manual content analysis following the horizontal analysis approach. This method allowed us to extract the most relevant results that were expressed by the respondents, sometimes explicitly and sometimes implicitly.

The results of this study show that the adoption of a managerial system, focused on the valuation of intangible investment and the development of intangible capital components, is conducive to the emergence of managerial innovations in management control in order to enable the piloting of the intangible dimension of performance.



JEL Classification: L32, M49

Paper type: Empirical research


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Author Biography

Lamiae MEGZARI, Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah of Fez, Morocco

Laboratoire Études et recherche en Management des organisations et des territoires-ERMOT

How to Cite
MEGZARI, L., & BENJELLOUN, S. (2022). The management of intangible assets, a renewal of management control : Case of the National Railway Office. International Journal of Accounting, Finance, Auditing, Management and Economics, 3(4-3), 587-607.