Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explain the difference of national intellectual capital from the perspective of national culture and to illustrate how national leaders or policy-makers increase their country’s national intellectual capital. Design/methodology/approach: The study conducts a descriptive analysis combining the research outcome of Lin and Edvinsson’s (2011) national intellectual capital with Hofstede’s (2001) national culture. The research findings and results of these two studies were compared before running a t-test to determine whether countries with relatively high national intellectual capital have a higher level of certain national culture. Findings: Based on the matching data of 26 countries, the study proposed that countries with certain national culture possess lower intellectual capital. Countries with high intellectual capital tend to exhibit a common culture of low power distance, weak uncertainty avoidance, and individualism. Practical implications: The study suggests that for a country to enhance its overall intellectual capital, it should strive for a culture of equality, freedom and safety, and an active competitive environment, while avoiding social class distance in order to eliminate insecurity. The study proposes some suggestions to advance the countries’ national intellectual capital. In addition to admit the weakness of their intellectual capital due to cultural reasons, these countries could go a step further to increase their own national intellectual capital by increasing or enhancing certain national cultures if possible. Originality/value: The study compares national intellectual capital and national culture and finds the relationship between these two sets of constructs. This study proves that national culture not only influences the strategies or behaviors of business level but also the competitiveness of national levels.