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Facilitating organisational change and innovation: activating intellectual capital within a learning paradigm

Yu, Ai (2011) Facilitating organisational change and innovation: activating intellectual capital within a learning paradigm. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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Emanating from the mainstream accounting and managerial thinking, which hinges upon the “command and control” assumption, a firm’s Intellectual Capital (IC) is understood as an objective reality. Influenced by this understanding, advocates of the measuring paradigm attempt to posit IC under parsimonious conditions within a reporting system. This thesis contributes to an emerging critical trend that seeks to counterbalance the limitations of the measuring paradigm and explores the possibilities of constructing a learning paradigm. A series of high-level questions that confront both paradigms, including their ontological assumptions, methodological considerations, foci of practice, and criteria for ICinformation disclosure, are considered. Whilst the measuring paradigm prioritises the activities of assessing and reporting individual IC elements, a learning paradigm is concerned with nurturing a learning motive in IC practice for organisational change and innovation. The analysis of a learning paradigm draws on the works of three processphilosophers: Habermas, Vygotsky and Deleuze. This thesis engages with the case study of “InCaS”: a project combined IC research and practice, involving researchers and 25 SMEs from 5 European countries. Data were collected through qualitative survey and administrative documents, interviews, and group discussions over a 30-month-period. Thematic analysis and reconstructed stories analysis were applied where suitable. The findings reveal that a learning paradigm does not stand against the measuring paradigm, but transforms it by enabling a flowing process of IC in SMEs. This flowing process contributes to the generation and development of new knowledge, new practice, and a new sense of positive energy. Based on this, the thesis suggests that the future of IC practice should focus on “IC flow management”, i.e. activate a non-linear process of learning-by-reflection, learning-by-participation, and learning-by-affection. In doing so, IC would not be perceived as a lifeless commodity, but as a metaphor of life that accommodates different pathways to value.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2011 Ai Yu
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Sets: Departments > Psychological and Behavioural Science
Supervisor: Humphreys, Patrick

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