William Mesa  

The Composition of Intellectual Capital

William Mesa
July 28, 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 Composition of Intellectual Capital1

Dimensions of human capital and structural capital were identified in the last article (“The Typology of Intellectual Capital”) and provided by detail in table format. Also noted is that my overarching concern in the case study was to answer the fundamental question: How is IC used in community NPO orchestras?2 The use of IC is unique to NPOs that are shaped by behavioral attributes such as participation, motivations, and personal goals. In this article, I’ll explore how human capital and structural capital are not independent of each other but rather interrelated. IC is best understood in context of how human capital and structural capital are related and thus lead and guided rather than merely managed as a set of separate resources.

Interrelationships in Human Capital and Structural Capital
After attaining the list of human capital and structural capital types based on their specific dimensions, I then focused on determining how both are interrelated. Since the aim of the case study was to see how IC is used in the orchestras, I needed to determine the connections between Human Capital and Structural Capital. Specifically, how a musician skills are related to components of the process. With several notes from field observations, interviews served the purpose of exploring if any relationship existed between human capital and structural capital.

Since much of my field work and interview questions naturally focused on individuals enacting what they know during rehearsal, the processes and routines of the orchestra rehearsals became the point of focus for the study. Further data collection and analysis, therefore, centered on the rehearsal process coupled with what people did, what they used, their attitudes towards leadership and others, and their motivations. A couple of participant statements reveal the relatedness of human and structural capital elements during rehearsal:

“There’s a certain amount of anxiety in rehearsal, along with chaos, concentration, intensity, and sometimes a bit of exhaustion. But it’s needed to get the performance down for the audience.”

“Pandemonium. I’m distracted by sounds or if others don’t play right….but putting the concert program together by taking it apart….then putting it back together again. You need wits and attention.”

1 Title adapted from chapter 3 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. Many modifications particularly in table content and complete findings are reflected in this article. Readers who wish to attain full detail and findings can do so in the article found in “The Journal of Intellectual Capital”.

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