Harnessing the intellectual capital of an organisation : an exploratory study

Beyers, Lourens Johannes Erasmus (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2004-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2004.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Although there is a general consensus that the knowledge society and the knowledge economy has arrived, and that knowledge is a key business asset, organisations are still in the early stages of understanding the implications of knowledge management and intellectual capital. The rise of the new economy that is principally driven by information and knowledge can be attributed to the increased prominence of intellectual capital in organisations. Intellectual capital features prominently in recent economic, managerial, technological and sociological developments in a manner previously unknown and unforeseen. The challenge of this research assignment is typified by the problem statement and its objectives, namely: Although much has been written about knowledge management, the learning organisation and intellectual capital, little, if any, has been written about the relationship and correlation between knowledge management and intellectual capital management. The challenge seems to provide integrated guidelines and a practical implementation system as to how organisations can use both knowledge management and intellectual capital for the formulation of a comprehensive intellectual management approach. In an attempt to develop guidelines and a practical implementation system for a comprehensive intellectual capital management approach, the following was undertaken with this research assignment: Firstly, the impact of the knowledge economy on organisations is discussed. Secondly, practical guidelines are provided on how to manage knowledge in organisations. The various types of capitals are, furthermore, analysed and specific guidelines provided on how to harness these different capitals in the organisations. The new phenomena of the intellectual capital entrepreneur is also highlighted. Lastly, particular emphasis is provided to the formulation of a comprehensive intellectual capital management approach. Practical guidelines are also formulated for the implementation of a comprehensive intellectual capital management system for organisations. Based on this study, some of the most important conclusions drawn are that: • Successful management of knowledge is the basis for generating intellectual capital in organisations on any long-term basis. • The linking of knowledge management and intellectual capital activities is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of an intellectual capital management system in organisations. • A comprehensive intellectual capital management system can only be successfully implemented if organisations have structures in place to generate intellectual capital on an ongoing basis. Recommendations for further research include: • The impact of the knowledge economy on South African organisations should be determined. • Research should be done as to how organisations can integrate knowledge management and intellectual capital activities. • The current role and impact of the intellectual entrepreneur in South African organisations should be identified. • Guidelines that will enable organisations to measure intellectual capital should be developed. The problem statement, namely, to provide South African organisations with a practical and comprehensive intellectual capital management approach, is addressed in this research. Recommendations to enhance intellectual capital in organisations are provided and explained.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Alhoewel daar algemene konsensus is dat die kennisgemeenskap en die kennisekonomie ‘n realiteit is, en dat kennis ‘n belangrike bate is, is organisasies nog in die vroeë stadiums om te begryp wat die implikasies van kennisbestuur en intellektuele kapitaal is. Die opkoms van die nuwe ekonomie, wat hoofsaaklik deur inligting en kennis gedryf was, kan toegeskryf word aan die toenemende prominensie van intellektuele kapitaal in organisasies. Intellektuele kapitaal figureer prominent in resente ekonomiese, bestuurs, tegnologiese en sosiologiese ontwikkelings op ‘n wyse wat voorheen onbekend en onvoorsien was. Die uitdaging van hierdie navorsingstaak word gekenmerk deur die probleemstelling en sy doelwitte, naamlik: Alhoewel heelwat geskryf is oor kennisbestuur, die lerende organisasie en intellektuele kapitaal, is baie min, indien enige, geskryf oor die verwantskap en korrelasie tussen kennisbestuur en intellektuele kapitaalbestuur. Dit blyk dat die uitdaging geïntegreerde riglyne verskaf en ook ‘n praktiese implementeringsisteem daarstel oor hoe organisasies beide kennisbestuur en intellektuele kapitaal kan benut vir die formulering van ‘n alomvattende intellektuele bestuursbenadering. In ‘n poging om riglyne en ‘n praktiese implementeringsisteem vir ‘n alomvattende intellektuele kapitaal bestuursbenadering te ontwikkel, is die volgende onderneem met hierdie navorsingstaak: Eerstens is die impak van kennisekonomie op organisasies bespreek, en tweedens is praktiese riglyne verskaf oor hoe kennis in organisasies bestuur moet word. Verder is verskeie tipes intellektuele kapitale geanaliseer en is spesifieke riglyne verskaf oor hoe hierdie verskillende kapitale in die organisasies toegepas kan word. Die nuwe verskynsel van die intellektuele kapitaal entrepreneur is uitgelig en besondere klem is gelê op die formulering van ‘n bestuursbenadering vir intellektuele kapitaal. Laastens is praktiese riglyne ook geformuleer vir die implementering van ‘n alomvattende bestuursbenadering tot ‘n intellektuele kapitaalsisteem binne organisasies. Met hierdie studie as basis is die volgende van die mees belangrike gevolgtrekkings: - Suksesvolle bestuur van kennis is die grondslag van enige langtermyn ontwikkeling van intellektuele kapitaal in organisasies. - Die ineenskakeling van kennisbestuur en intellektuele kapitaal aktiwiteite is ‘n voorvereiste vir die suksesvolle implementering van ‘n intellektuele kapitaal bestuursisteem in organisasies. - ‘n Alomvattende intellektuele kapitaal bestuursisteem kan alleenlik suksesvol geïmplementeer word as organisasies strukture in plek het om intellektuele kapitaal op ‘n deurlopende basis te genereer. Aanbevelings vir verdere navorsing sluit die volgende in: - Die impak van die kennisekonomie op Suid-Afrikaanse organisasies behoort bepaal te word. - Navorsing behoort gedoen te word met betrekking tot hoe organisasies kennisbestuur en intellektuele kapitaal aktiwiteite kan integreer. - Die bestaande rol en impak van die intellektuele entrepreneur in Suid- Afrikaanse organisasies behoort geïdentifiseer te word. - Riglyne behoort ontwikkel te word wat organisasies in staat sal stel om intellektuele kapitaal te meet. Die probleemstelling, naamlik om Suid-Afrikaanse organisasies te voorsien van ‘n praktiese en alomvattende intellektuele kapitaal bestuursbenadering, is in hierdie navorsing aangespreek. Aanbevelings om intellektuele kapitaal in organisasies te versterk is verskaf en verduidelik.

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