Kong, Eric and Farrell, Mark (2010) Knowledge and learning capabilities in non-profit organizations: a relational capital perspective. The International Journal of Learning, 17 (3). pp. 97-116. ISSN 1447-9494
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Relational capital (RC) represents the knowledge and learning capabilities embedded in relationships external to an organization. The primary goal of this paper is to report preliminary findings through qualitative in-depth interviews collected from 35 senior executives in relation to their perceptions of RC in building knowledge and enhancing learning capability in 22 Australian nonprofit
organizations. The findings revealed that RC was valued as the concept perceived to be able to assist nonprofit managers to conceptualize the development of knowledge and learning capabilities in external stakeholder relationships. However, the understanding and application of RC were substantially different to those contained in the literature. Scholars suggest that a balanced view of RC is essential when establishing external stakeholder relationships. The nonprofit managers often adopted a more
focused relationship with key external stakeholders, which also happened to be primary fund providers for the organizations. Research implications of this theory-practice divide are discussed. Research limitations and future research direction are presented in the paper.
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