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Ready for the future? Universities' capabilities to strategically manage their intellectual capital

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PurposeThis paper aims to explore the possibilities of combining foresight techniques and intellectual capital management, as two approaches of participatory strategic management, in higher education institutions. The objective is to generate concrete benefits for prospective strategic management in the academic sector. It also aims to focus on how it may be possible for universities to address the challenges of major change management programmes by implementing foresight and intellectual capital management models. Design/methodology/approachThe paper reviews recent literature both on conceptual issues and experiences in relation to foresight and intellectual capital. The paper presents an ongoing project focused on the development of a vision for the future of the higher education system in Romania and a frame to differentiate Romanian universities. FindingsA proposal of an integrated use of foresight and intellectual capital management for universities is suggested. The case study presented illustrates how foresight provides an excellent approach to address the question of how to develop a shared vision of the future and jointly define a strategy to best adapt an organization to the new context, and intellectual capital management models play a role in strategic management, resource allocation and monitoring of objectives and organization performance. Practical implicationsThe issues addressed in the paper could provide the starting point for better integration of strategic management in higher education institutions. Originality/valueThe paper explores two concepts closely related but that have not been analysed together: the relationship between Intellectual capital approaches and foresight.
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Keywords: Forward planning; Higher education; Intellectual capital; Romania; Strategic management

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-04-12

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