Building Social & Intellectual Capital: HR’s Contribution to Organizational Effectiveness

Is an organization’s social and intellectual capital the most potent source of sustainable competitive advantage?
Some of the most effective tools for leveraging social and intellectual capital to produce maximum impact on organizational performance are:

  • management of culture
  • organizational design
  • staffing strategy
  • development strategy
  • performance management strategy
  • rewards strategy

Human Resources should take the lead by formulating strategies and designing programs that will produce alignment and cohesiveness among employees and that will encourage the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge to the organizations’ advantage. By asking for, measuring, recognizing and rewarding behavior that effectively leverages social and intellectual capital, Human Resources becomes a vital contributor to organizational success.

It takes an entire organization to raise an idea. Creating knowledge is easier in a culture that communicates everyone is important and capable of contributing. Disseminating knowledge is facilitated when organizational structure and role design provide the necessary resources and the mechanisms for sharing knowledge. Disseminating and applying knowledge becomes a priority for employees when they are selected for, trained for and rewarded for doing so. Effectively managing intellectual capital means more than creating an intranet site and asking employees to post ideas and to learn what they need to know. Technology can be an enabler, but in order for it to improve knowledge dissemination employees must both want and know how to share the knowledge they have. The primary mechanisms for providing the impetus lie within the organization’s human resources strategies and programs. If these strategies and programs serve the organization well Human Resources becomes a major contributor to a critical source of sustainable competitive advantage.

What are your strategies for building social and intellectual capital?

An excerpt from:“Building Social and Intellectual Capital: Human Resources Contribution to Organizational Effectiveness” by Robert J. Greene, PhD
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