William Mesa  

The Performance of Intellectual Capital

William Mesa
August 13, 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 Performance of Intellectual Capital1

Human capital and structural capital are inseparable.While each has distinctive qualities, human capital and structural capital are essentially related and dependent upon each other.This was the finding I found which further deepened my investigation to answer the question of “how is IC used in community orchestras?”This last article will detail and provide summaries of how Intellectual Capital (IC) is used in community orchestras.

Organizational Practices

All organizations, teams, and small groups participate by using a generic set of what Wanda Orlikowski of MIT calls, organizational practices.These practices are generic in that they are manifested in every organization, but the shape they take is dependent on the particular attributes, leadership, and product/service of the organization.By connecting the interrelatedness of human capital and structural capital to organizational practices, we have an clues as to how orchestras use IC.

Orlikowski separates organizational practices into a classification of five generic actions:

  • Sharing Identity—knowing the organization
  • Interacting face-to-face—knowing the players in the organization
  • Alignment of effort—knowing how to coordinate
  • Learning by doing—knowing how to learn or experiment
  • Supporting participation—participation is encouraged and guided

Participants engage in the activities and purpose of an organization through these practices.Individuals enact (practices) what they know (human capital) through processes (structural capital).My overall focus was to identify and link the relatedness or network connectivity of human capital and structural capital (previous article) to specific practices.In doing this, leaders and managers of community orchestras would have a map of how work is accomplished.The implications of this are enormous—change one part of structural capital and it has an impact on human capital and the organizational practice in which each are enacted!In spite of the tangled network of complexities, they are important to understand in NPOs and community orchestras.

The challenge was to filter the interrelated combinations of human capital, structural capital, and how they are used via organizational practices.There were several potential variables.For this task a survey and factor analysis were used.Leaving aside the statistical jargon, I used a process called factor analysis that basically extracts common attributes of data.The data came from survey questions of which were constructed as mere questions

1 Title adapted from chapter 6 of Stravinsky’s Poetics of Music, (1974); Harvard University Press.

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