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The Ambiguous Relationship of Leadership and Intellectual Capital: Understanding how Intellectual Capital is Developed Claudia Müller and Margit Raich University of Innsbruck, Austria Abstract: Intellectual Management deals with these interactions between all resources, tangible and intangible to create maximum value. Leadership plays an important role when turning knowledge within an organization into Intellectual Capital. Therefore it is of major interest to consider and evaluate the relationship as well as possible synergies between Intellectual Capital and Leadership to improve organizational processes and performance. Keywords: Knowledge, Intellectual Management, Leadership, Organizational Processes, Measurement 1. Introduction Within the last decade two major key words have influenced the scientific and practical discussion in management – Leadership and Knowledge Management. Reflecting upon these two topics considering aspects of their relationship, synergy and interference it is definitely not possible to start a holistic discussion but one will have to concentrate on specific aspects of interest. This article therefore aims at showing the relevance of Leadership for the creation and retaining of Intellectual Capital. It will put a spotlight both on Leadership and Knowledge Management, especially Intellectual Capital. The last decade saw the introduction of these major keywords Leadership and Knowledge Management and consequently was dominated by a more or less thoroughly carried out discussion and evaluation. Both management areas have gained broad acknowledgement caused by the fact that enterprises permanently face changing business conditions. Conducting a survey within appropriate literature and magazines only a vanishing small number of articles which have Leadership and Knowledge Management or Intellectual Capital explicitly as a topic can be found. One of the reasons for this development might be that even “a priori” one is convinced that everybody is aware of the relation and the synergies. Furthermore the concentration on one of these “new” topics may cause a lack of time of getting familiar with both management approaches on an equal level. Therefore this important synthesis of new areas in management is hardly carried out. The paper starts with a short definition of Knowledge Management, Intellectual Capital and Leadership to be able to start a meaningful discussion on these topics. In a second step one case study deals with the importance of Leadership as well as its effects to the organization (e.g. processes, structures, cultures). The description of Leadership based on interviews of leaders and followers in each organization. It allows gaining an insight into their running processes and helps to identify activities that create or destruct value. However to show this influence can not be the end of the story. The second part of the paper tries to give a short insight on current approaches of Intellectual Capital measurement and evaluates their suitability to connect Intellectual Capital and its measurement to Leadership. It has to be of major interests for every leader to know how he can contribute with his capability of Leadership to retain and even create Intellectual Capital within the enterprise. 2. Background 2.1 Knowledge Capital and Intellectual Knowledge and its management have become major issues of discussion in management as well as in research in the course of the late eighties and nineties. As ISSN 1479-4411 35 ©Academic Conferences Ltd Reference this paper as: Müller C and Raich M (2005) “The Ambiguous Relationship of Leadership and Intellectual Capital: Understanding how Intellectual Capital is Developed” The Electronic Journal of Knowledge Management Volume 3 Issue 1, pp 35-44, available online at

The Ambiguous Relationship of Leadership and Intellectual Capital: Understanding how...

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