Human, Relational, and Structural Capital as Strategic Objectives in Higher Education

Human, Relational, and Structural Capital as Strategic Objectives in Higher Education

Jésica Alhelí Cortés Ruiz (Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico), Edgar Oliver Cardoso Espinosa (Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico) and Rosa María Rivas García (Instituto Politécnico Nacional, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8461-2.ch001

Abstract

This chapter will focus on the characterization of human, relational, and structural capital, as well as the importance of establishing them as strategic objectives in higher education in Mexico, with the aim of designing academic proposals oriented to optimize and manage intellectual capital. Given that the new economic order demands from academic organizations more efficient ways of producing and transferring education, the context of higher education is pointed out with reference to the capitals in question and the importance of their relationship in such a way that through this it is possible to determine strategic objectives that maximize academic performance and improve teaching-learning models, as well as terminal efficiency in higher education schools in Mexico.
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Background

Ulrich (1998) conceptualized intellectual capital as a multiplicative function of competence and commitment. Congruent with the arguments of Ulrich (1998), and Quinn et al. (1996), an examination of the characteristics and features of intellectual capital reveals that it represents a particular case as far as its different components are complementary. This brings about a new dimension in human capital analysis. Without constituting a revolution, this methodology can be used for capital items revealing a high degree of complementarity.

Several studies indicate that unique or scarce resources impact firm performance (Barney, 1991; Castrogiovanni, 1991; Grant, 1991; Mahoney, 1995; Nahapiet & Ghoshal, 1998; Pfeffer & Salancik, 1978; Tsai & Ghoshal, 1998). For instance, Barney (1991) suggests that organizations have a competitive advantage when their assets, capabilities or processes possess specific attributes. That is, when assets, capabilities or processes are rare, valuable, difficult to imitate, and have few substitutes, they represent a critical source for competitive advantage.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Intangibles: That should not or cannot be touched.

Assets: Set of all goods and rights with value, which are owned by a company, institution, or individual.

Holistic: Conception of each reality as a whole other than the sum of its component parts.

Methodology: A set of methods that are followed in a scientific investigation or in a doctrinal exposition.

Goods: Everything material or immaterial.

System: Structured set of related units that contribute to a specific object.

Synergy: Action of two or more causes which effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects.

Strategy: Adjustable process or set of rules that ensure an optimal decision at all times.

Capital: Set of assets and economic goods destined to produce greater wealth.

Management: To deal with the administration, organization, and operations of a company, economic activity, or organization.

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