Title: The importance of relational capital in service industry: the case of the Spanish banking sector

Authors: Patricia Ordonez de Pablos

Addresses: Department of Business Administration and Accountability, Faculty of Economics, University of Oviedo, Avd. del Cristo, s/n, 33.071 Oviedo – Asturias, Spain

Abstract: This paper is structured into three basic sections. The first section proposes a conceptual framework to analyse the importance of strategic knowledge-based resources for the achievement of a sustained competitive advantage. In particular, the components of intellectual capital (human capital, relational capital and structural capital) are described as well as their importance for organisational performance in the current competitive environment. The second section is focussed on a particular type of knowledge – the relational capital – that is, institutionalised knowledge in the form of business connections with customers, suppliers, shareholders, alliance partners and other agents. This section studies the map of different types of organisational relational capital of companies: idiosyncratic, core, ancillary and compulsory. Section three shows the results of a case study done in pioneer service firms in Spain regarding knowledge measuring and reporting. It analyses the main indicators used for quantifying knowledge embedded in the firm|s relations with customers, suppliers, stakeholders and other agents. Finally, the last section explores the main results and implications for knowledge management drawn from this paper.

Keywords: case study; indicators; intellectual capital; relational capital; service industry; Spain; banking; competitive advantage; human capital; structural capital; organisational performance; knowledge management; knowledge measurement.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLIC.2004.005993

International Journal of Learning and Intellectual Capital, 2004 Vol.1 No.4, pp.431 - 440

Published online: 17 Jan 2005 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article