William Mesa  

The Typology of Intellectual Capital

William Mesa
July 16, 2019

Editor's Abstract (Click to Hide)

Dr. William Mesa is a professor of management and accounting at Colorado Christian University and an amateur musician who plays percussion in two community orchestras in Denver. His interest in both music and business lead him to a doctoral dissertation that, in part, discussed, organized and categorized the articles found in Harmony. (A MAP TO READING AND FINDING TOPICS IN HARMONY: Eight Years of Research, Studies, and Articles )

This series of four articles, published in installments here, represent his research interests in strategic management and organizational behavior, and applying that knowledge to the two community orchestras in which he plays. In Dr. Mesa's words, "Understanding the significance of how IC (intellectual capital) is a resource for organizations, particularly NPOs (non-profit organizations) (like community orchestras), means recognizing the significance of what is at root of what motivates volunteers in the NPO or community orchestra. Why do community orchestras exist? Why do they perform?"

- Ramon Ricker

The Typology of Intellectual Capital 1

Intellectual capital (IC), intangible resources of organizations, was suggested in the previous article as a possible area to manage for orchestras to consider. IC is made up of human capital, such as competencies and individual attributes; structural capital, such as routines and processes that coordinate the orchestras purpose; and customer or relational capital, the relationship the organization has with its customers and external constituents (i.e. stakeholders). This article will continue and examine the types of intellectual capital found in the nine month case study of two community orchestras.2 The focus of this article will be the identification of human capital and structural capital both of which are a part of a community orchestra’s stock of resources.

Dimensions of Human Capital
In the previous article, human capital was defined as consisting basically of skill and know-how. Human capital, which pertains to belonging to individuals, spans a vast array of attributes: competence, performance in jobs, efficiency of training, learning abilities, abilities, education, previous training, previous job experience, employee trust towards the organization, perceptions of organizational climate, motivations, career development, job satisfaction, and job retention. Drawing from the above descriptions human capital can be framed through an organizational behavior lens of participation, motivation, and personal goals. To make human capital a manageable application for orchestras, a general taxonomy provides a common set of traits that are: competency based, motivated based, and goal fulfillment based.

Human Capital



Skills and know-how


Trust, loyalty, and knowing others


Enrichment and purpose to work

Source: Adapted from Mesa (2010) Journal of Intellectual Capital 3

Dimensions of Structural Capital
Structural capital represents formal routines, informal routines, processes, ways of doing work, common practices general to an industry, practices unique to the organization, organization structure, workspace, and organizational culture. German sociologist, Max Weber, defined three basic elements of an organization which are useful in allocating types of structural capital: authority structures, labor divisions, and things that coordinate work and practice. In essence, this triad, called social structure, can be identified as social artifacts. Artifacts in that they are essential to getting work done (think of decisions, processes, and common things that coordinate our work) and social in that people engage and use these things everyday in their work.

1 Title adapted from chapter 4 of Stravinsky’s Poetics of Music, (1974); Harvard University Press.

2 This article series is adapted from my article “The composition of intellectual capital in non-profit orchestras” in the Journal of Intellectual Capital, 2010. Modifications particularly in table content and complete findings are reflected in this article.

3 Mesa, William B. (2010), “The composition of intellectual capital in non-profit community orchestras”, Journal of Intellectual Capital, Vol. 11 No. 2 Special Issue IC and Non-Profits in the Knowledge Economy.

« Previous page • Page 1 of 5 • Next Page »

Please log in to comment: