posted on Jan. 17: McMaster business professor measures intellectual capital in Arab region


A McMaster business professor leading an initiative to measure the intellectual capital of Arab countries has found the area suffers from severe brain drain.

Nick Bontis, assistant professor of strategic management at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Business, has found that Arab states suffer from a much more severe brain drain than Canada – the phenomenon actually debilitates the already weakened economies.

The study recommends creating innovative partnership programs between corporate and government organizations to encourage Arab professionals to stay in their respective countries to contribute to the market economy and the education systems, as well as encouraging tourism within the individual countries to stimulate growth.

“Approximately 20 per cent of the financial wealth of Arab nations can be attributable to their intellectual capital. This is a critical revelation as the Arab world strives to strengthen its standard of living while decoupling its traditional dependency on oil reserves,” Bontis said.

Bontis, recognized as a world leader in this field, has been appointed chief intellectual capital researcher for the initiative sponsored by the United Nations Development Program.

The United Nations recently began the initiative to measure the intellectual capital of nations, beginning with the Arab region.

Bontis has completed an initial intellectual capital assessment of 10 Arab countries and presented his study results at the United Nation's Regional Bureau for Arab States in Amman, Jordan, Jan. 3. He also presented his findings at McMaster's World Congress yesterday.

Bontis's intellectual capital audit found that the average rate of literacy in the Arab region is 69 per cent, with a math competency rate of 47 per cent.
As a result of this initial research, Bontis has developed a brand new branch of intellectual capital science that examines knowledge constructs at the macro-national level and has developed a new comparative metric for the UN called the “National Intellectual Capital Index” or NICI. The United Nations intends to use Bontis's intellectual capital metrics as a foundation for its new ranking of nations.