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Title: Defining and measuring "knowledge capital" in health service
Author: Sundram, Sumathi
ISNI:       0000 0004 2748 309X
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2011
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"Knowledge capital" comes in many forms based on the context of its creation, some in terms of pure knowledge, some of which is public good and some rival. Furthermore, some of its forms are less easy to describe since it includes custom, practice and understanding of how best to organise things. Practitioners and academics, across disciplines of organisational management, economics, and accounting define the concept of "knowledge capital" (KC) or "intellectual capital" (IC) as human skills enhanced by organisational structures, resources and relationships to form a composite knowledge based resource, which creates competencies, capability and capacity that generate revenue for the organisation. Health service provision is based on the transfer of tacit, explicit, established and emerging knowledge. The capture of learning gained during service delivery is therefore critical for the safety, effectiveness and quality of service provision co-creating knowledge based resources including enhanced understanding, skills, processes and routines. The need arises, therefore, to understand if the way resources are managed should change to take account of the generation of more or less of something that is of value to health organisations and systems. The joint production and "public goods" features of inexhaustibility and non-exclusivity, in certain circumstances, make the measurement of "knowledge capital" in health challenging. The management and maintenance of this key resource in health service requires it to be recognised and measured, although there are problems in defining "knowledge capital". There are challenges in measuring it and even bigger ones in valuing it. There is a need, therefore, to start with a clearer understanding on what it is and then attempt to measure it. This research through an empirical case study highlights the co-creation of, explores its nature and attempts to measures the scale of "knowledge capital" in health service, as a resource. The models "knowledge creation cycle in health" and "dimensions of knowledge capital in health" developed from the literature review are investigated in the study of the specialised pulmonary hypertension (PH) services at Papworth hospital, a NHS specialist centre. The additional dimensions of "public goods in health" and "capacity in health" are surfaced in this study. Management accountancy method of costing, informed by the economic concept of opportunity cost of capital, provides a helpful mechanism for the measurement of this difficult to measure resource in this study. This method is based on the estimates of the inputs of joint production of "knowledge capital" using the "bottom up" approach being recommended by NHS guidance. This case study at Papworth hospital reveals that the scale of the value of stock of "knowledge capital" can be more than twice the value of its tangible assets. This highlights the necessity for management strategies of health organisations and health systems to recognise fully its co-creation and measure the scale of “knowledge capital” in health service. A systematic stock take of "knowledge capital" assets in health organisations and systems is therefore recommended to enable informed decision making for effective and efficient management of health services.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available