Intellectual capital management among Italian non-profit socio-cooperatives

Benevene, Paula and Kong, Eric and Lucchesi, Massimiliano and Cortini, Michela (2019) Intellectual capital management among Italian non-profit socio-cooperatives. Journal of Workplace Learning, 31 (1). pp. 17-30. ISSN 1366-5626


To deepen the knowledge on the role played by the intellectual capital (IC) of small and medium non-profit socio-cooperatives (SMSCs) in generating knowledge and organisational growth, as well as on the challenges and the difficulties of the management of IC among these organizations This exploratory study adopted a qualitative methodology. A total of 70 semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior managers of Italian non-profit SMSCs, asking them to talk about the management of their human capital, organisational capital and relational capital. The data gathered from the interviews were analysed through discourse analysis carried out by two independent judges. IC management among Italian non-profit SMSCs is unplanned, unsystematic, and short-termed. The SMSCs in question adopt an employee-centred approach; their IC management and knowledge creation are more focused on the direct contribution of the organisational members, than on the endorsement of formal or structured procedures and processes. Due to their social aim, the well-being of both the workers and the beneficiaries of the SMSCs plays a central role in the IC management. Relationships with external stakeholders are regarded as important as those with the internal ones, re-affirming the organisations’ members as the core of the knowledge generation. The group reached is not a statistically representative sample; furthermore, it is limited to Italy. Deepening the knowledge on IC among these organisations can help to promote the strengths and address the weaknesses of its management, whilst also helping these micro-enterprises to develop into SMEs. This paper contributes to the IC literature by shedding light on the role played by IC among SMEs, and more specifically in the specific context of Italian SMSCs. To the authors’ knowledge, no previous research has thus far dealt with this issue.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 35165
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2019 02:32
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2019 04:22
Uncontrolled Keywords: intellectual capital, knowledge management, non-profit organizations, small- and medium-sized socio-cooperatives, human capital, relational capital
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150310 Organisation and Management Theory
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150312 Organisational Planning and Management
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1108/JWL-07-2018-0085

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only