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Human Capital and Value Adding in Public Sector: A Performative Case Study in a Higher Education Institution

Wardini, Amalia (2017) Human Capital and Value Adding in Public Sector: A Performative Case Study in a Higher Education Institution. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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Nature/significance: Most Intellectual Capital Accounting Research (ICAR) is primarily quantitative (ostensive) which have not addressed sufficiently the issue of the recognition of human capital (HC) in accounting. This thesis investigates HC practice in the Open University Indonesia (OUI) in developing HC, creating value of HC for OUI and delivering values for OUI’s stakeholders.

Design/methodology: The existing theory of HC in ICAR and the practice of HC in public sector motivate this thesis and raise three research questions: 1) What are the elements of HC embedded in HC practice in OUI? 2) How does HC create value for OUI regarding the contribution of HC to the strategic direction and the management of OUI? 3) How does HC contribute to delivering OUI’s proposed set of values for its students? To answer the research questions the analysis of the thesis is divided into three main streams of performative approach to HC: 1) the conceptualisation of HC, 2) the value creation of HC, and 3) the proposition of HC.

Findings: The thesis generates three major findings. First, HC is conceptualised by the introduction of personal value (ODL capabilities), social value (teamwork and leadership) and organisational value (flexibility, access and organisational culture) that integrated into HC. Second, the value creation process of HC is a continuous process whereby OUI’s stakeholders add value to each other and keep these values (personal value, social value and organisational value) in equilibrium. Thirdly, HC delivers the proposed set of values to students by aggregating activities-resources-capabilities of HC in value-adding processes.

Research limitations/contributions: The thesis has limitations related to performative case study and data collection, however, the thesis has provided strong evidence about the practices of public sector organisations such as universities and can provide reliable information to a broader field of research. The contribution of this thesis for OUI is reconceptualisation of HC as transformation agent related to its processes (open university business model), control (monitoring and evaluation system) and performance (performance and rewards system).

Originality/value: This thesis is the first performative case study of HC in ICAR in the public sector using the theoretical frameworks of strategic management. This thesis enhances the extant literature on methodology in HC research and derives practical implications for practitioners in universities, especially in ODL context.

Keywords: Performative approach; performative case study; intellectual capital accounting research; public sector; open and distance learning; university.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School Of Business and Governance
United Nations SDGs: Goal 4: Quality Education
Supervisor(s): Holloway, David and Alam, Manzurul
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