What Are Tangible and Intangible Forms of Organizations?

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Organizations of all types have both tangible and intangible properties, integrating the two properties as parts of a system or process for accomplishing a goal. Achieving success within an organizational system requires input and the expected output. Inputs are intangible resources such as raw material, money, technologies and people, which go through a coordinated process moving towards a planned goal. Outputs are the tangible results, improving lives, jobs and providing benefits.


Intangibles are non-monetary assets without physical attributes, but still possessing a value. There are two forms of assets in this category. The first has a legal ownership in the form of intellectual properties, such as trade secrets, patents, copyrights and trademarks. The second is competitive, which includes knowledge or a know how to influence controls, leverages or alliances. They both hold rights within a court of law due to adverse organizational effects when publicized.


Tangible properties are physical possessions with perceived market values in various forms such as land, buildings, equipment or collectible items that have a monetary value. Other forms are controlled documents that represent legal agreements, connected to an economic worth such as money, loans, promissory notes or treasury bonds that are paid to the holder. Real and personal property values are affected by economic fluctuations.


Assets that are intangible are linked to market shares or projected revenues, since true values are difficult to determine. Intangibles like customer service and satisfaction have perceived values through knowledge and recognition. Tangible values are driven by public demands associated within the markets. Both forms of assets have differences and similarities pertaining to legal right protections, resource values and monetary profits.


Organizations expense intangibles as a cost of investment, building on the value of a trademark that identifies with the company’s core qualities, which are combinations of knowledge and individual competences. Tangibles are the visible principals related to accumulating equity, shaping the organization's internal economy. Mutually dependent on each other, intangibles engage in external market mass and tangibles represent internal purpose.

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