Kong, Eric (2010) Innovation processes in social enterprises: an IC perspective. Journal of Intellectual Capital, 11 (2). pp. 158-178. ISSN 1469-1930
Purpose – Social enterprises are not purely commercial and philanthropic. They represent a hybrid form of organizations that involve taking business-like, innovative approaches to deliver public services. Very little research has investigated the role of intellectual capital (IC) in innovation processes in social enterprises. This paper aims to address this. Design/methodology/approach – This paper uses a critical analysis of current literature in relation to the IC concept within the social enterprise context. Findings – The paper argues that the IC concept can be utilized as a strategic management framework that assists social enterprises to harness knowledge for the pursuit of innovative social and commercial activities. Research limitations/implications – The paper contributes to the literature by theoretically arguing that IC can be utilized in innovation processes in social enterprises. It also informs social entrepreneurs that the IC concept is a valid strategic management framework that assists facilitating innovation in social enterprises. An IC conceptual framework is proposed using theoretical arguments from the literature. The framework helps social entrepreneurs to visualize IC and its components in their organizations for the development of effective innovation-based strategies in social enterprises. The increased awareness of the IC concept in social enterprises, as a result of this paper, is likely to generate further research from both non-profit practitioners and scholars. Originality/value – The paper is considered as a starting-point and serves as a milestone in examining the role of IC in innovation processes in social enterprises.
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