CEO ability, career concerns, firms’ lifecycle and investments in intellectual capital

Muhammad Nadeem, Rashid Zaman, Tahir Suleman, Nader Atawnah

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We argue that the managerial ability of CEOs facing different career concerns can explain significant variation in firms’ investments in intellectual capital (IC), an important corporate strategic decision, and the driver of competitive advantage. Under the umbrella of Resource Based Theory, using a large sample of US firms, we find that CEOs’ managerial ability has a significant positive relation with investments in human, innovation and relational capital. This relationship is weaker when CEOs actually face lower career concerns. Furthermore, the relationship is less (more) pronounced in firms at the introduction (decline) stage of their lifecycle. Our results are robust to a range of sub-samples, alternative variable definitions and model specifications. The findings are important for firms embarking on building IC stocks, essential for firm's survival in the knowledge-economy era.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-251
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Review of Economics and Finance
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • CEO ability
  • Career concerns
  • Firm lifecycle
  • Intellectual capital
  • Resource-based view

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


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