Intellectual capital as a strategic tool for organising social services: a qualitative analysis of the Australian non-profit sector

Kong, Eric (2007) Intellectual capital as a strategic tool for organising social services: a qualitative analysis of the Australian non-profit sector. In: ANZAM 2007: Managing Our Intellectural and Social Capital, 4-7 Dec 2007, Sydney, Australia .

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The organisation and delivery of social services have been profoundly affected by the 'new public management' agenda of governments. Social service non-profit organisations (SSNPOs) have had little choice but to respond to commercial imperatives which may compromise the principle of investing in human and social concerns. This paper analyses the usefulness of intellectual capital (IC) - organisational resources contributing to knowledge, information, intellectual property, and human skills and experience - in addressing the conflicts between commercial and social objectives. On the basis of data gathered from in-depth interviews with 35 non-profit managers across 22 large Australian SSNPOs, the analysis confirms that IC assists SSNPOs in managing the social-commercial divide. However, the data also revealed that managers' understandings of the IC concept were often different to those contained in the IC literature. This paper contributes to the social services management debate by, first, arguing that IC can be utilised as a non-profit strategic management conceptual framework. Second, it highlights slippages in the meaning and significance of IC. Third, it prescribes ways the concept may be utilised more effectively in SSNPO practice.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions on web site.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Business - School of Management and Marketing
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2010 12:53
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2013 23:39
Uncontrolled Keywords: intellectual capital; social service non-profit organisations (SSNPOs); strategic management
Fields of Research : 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

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