Term of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Ph.D.)
Document Type and Release Option
Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)
Copyright Statement / License for Reuse
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Department of Logistics & Supply Chain Management
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Tangible assets such as property, plants, and equipment are direct means by which firms produce products to meet customer demands. On the other hand, intangible assets such as human capital, R&D, and organizational capital have traditionally been associated with firm value and investment opportunities. While firms have significantly increased intangible investment over recent decades, research has been quiet on the relationship between these two types of capital. Taking a resource-based view, I suggest that while tangible assets can improve operational performance, there are synergistic operational benefits when simultaneously leveraging both tangible and intangible assets. This is to say, intangible assets help to increase the benefits of tangible assets. Utilizing a secondary data of 2,739 firms from 1990 to 2018 and simultaneous equation modeling, I find that tangible assets enable firms to improve their operational performance significantly, but at a decreasing rate. Furthermore, firms’ ability to effectively and efficiently exploit tangible assets to improve their operational performance is highly contingent on their intangible assets such as human capital and R&D. In addition, I find that the firm’s lifecycle has significant effects on the synergistic operational benefits of tangible and intangible assets. Specifically, that mature firms can obtain more synergistic benefits relative to new firms. In contrast, such synergistic benefits are not impacted by the amount of uncertainty in the operating environment. As a set, the findings of this study suggest that when firms are allocating capital to improve operational performance, jointly considering both tangible and intangible assets is key.
Liu, Huiling, "The Joint Effects of Tangible and Intangible Assets on Operational Performance" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2320.
Research Data and Supplementary Material
Available for download on Thursday, December 10, 2026